Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist preacher who grew to prominence during the 1950s and 60s for his non-violent protests and inspiring speeches all in the name of racial equality.
King will forever be remembered as one of this nations greatest champions of equality. Not only was he one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, he was instrumental in the creation of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. For this, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Almost immediately after his assassination on April 4th, 1968 the public demanded he be honored with a national holiday. Beginning in the 1970s some states and cities began celebrating Dr. King on his birthday, January 15th. Legislation making the third Monday of January ( the date closest to his birthday) a federal holiday was introduced in 1968, however due to political and racial opposition, the legislation was not passed for 15 more years. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed MLK Day into law and 3 years later it was first observed.
Ways to Celebrate Around WNY:
1. Martin Luther King Jr Breakfast on January 13, 2023 from 8am to 1pm at the the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin Street. Tickets are $40.
2. MLK Day of Caring– January 16, 2023- Michigan African Heritage Corridor beginning at 8:45 am. Click here for more information
3. MLK Day of Service at UB on January 16,2023 from 9:30am to 12:30pm.This year, they will have a virtual volunteering/education event as well as an in-person service activity. RSVP to the event to be the first to know about the service sites and virtual educational opportunities!
4. Pay What You Can Admission to the Buffalo Museum of Science 10am to 4pm- January 16, 2023. 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo.
5. New York State's annual commemoration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be presented as a statewide broadcast event, "New York State Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Paths to Change," airing on PBS stations throughout New York beginning Sunday, January 15.
6. 43rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration @ the Frank E., Merriweather Jr. Branch Library in Buffalo.
Join us for this free, all ages event. Featuring poetry, music and storytelling in honor of Dr.
King.Thursday, January 12, 2023 at 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. at the Frank E., Merriweather Jr. Branch Library located at 1324 Jefferson Avenue (near Utica) in Buffalo .