Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an annual federal holiday since 1986, celebrates the national civil rights leader who was instrumental in challenging the racial caste system that delineated how millions of Americans lived their lives.
All 50 states celebrate the public holiday on the third Monday in January, but not all states, cities and towns dedicate it solely to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Some package it as a broader celebration of both Dr. King and Confederate leaders, according to this 2017 piece, “Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Still Faces Pushback.”
Teaching Tolerance’s “Dos and Don’ts of Celebrating MLK Day” (and “Going the Extra Mile for MLK Day”) remind us that although the holiday is just one day — and Black History Month is just one month — Dr. King’s message of equality and justice for all are best embedded in the curriculum all year round.