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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day Holiday

Photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

By Make King Day a Day On . . . Not a Day Off!
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Make King Day a Day On . . . Not a Day Off!

Each year on the third Monday of January, the federal government honors the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the national holiday in honor of Dr. King’s work and marks 43 years since his assassination.

The national theme for the observance is “A Day On … Not a Day Off,” reflecting Dr. King’s belief that service to others was the great equalizer and the way to true brotherhood.

Why Serve on King Day?

Dr. King once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"
The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.
Dr. King recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Service is integral to meeting national challenges such as poverty, economic insecurity, illiteracy, hunger, environmental degradation, and more.

In addition to helping solve serious problems, service brings people from different backgrounds together, and benefits those who serve.

What Types of Service Are Encouraged?

All types of service are encouraged, particularly projects that connect participants to ongoing service throughout the year. Projects include preparing and delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, removing graffiti and cleaning neighborhoods, reading to children, training mentors or tutors for youth, and much more. Many service projects are connected to the life and teachings of Dr. King and include time to reflect upon his life and teachings.

How Can I Continue to Serve After King Day?

As part of his United We Serve initiative, President Obama has called upon all Americans to make service a part of their daily lives. Where and how you serve is up to you – the important thing is to get involved.

For more information, visit the official King Day of Service Web site at  To find a volunteer opportunity in your community and for ideas on planning your own project, visit


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