Order 2016 Almanac Now - Get 3 FREE Gifts

Calendar for January 21st, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday (observed)

Since 1986, the third Monday in January has been a federal holiday in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to nonviolence. This is a day to honor King's principles, perhaps best exemplified by his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'" For more about this leader, go to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site of the National Park Service.


  • Born 1738: Ethan Allen (patriot)

  • 1780s

  • 1789: First American novel, The Power of Sympathy, published in Boston.

  • 1790s

  • 1793: Louis XVI of France was beheaded

  • 1820s

  • Born 1824: Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Confederate Army general)

  • 1890s

  • Died 1891: Calixa Lavallée (composer)

  • 1900s

  • Born 1905: Christian Dior (fashion designer)

  • 1908: New York City's Sullivan Ordinance made it illegal for women to smoke in public places

  • 1910s

  • 1915: Kiwanis International founded

  • 1930s

  • 1939: Song "Over the Rainbow," by Arlen and Harburg, copyrighted

  • 1940s

  • Born 1940: Jack Nicklaus (golfer)

  • Born 1941: Plácido Domingo (tenor)

  • 1950s

  • Died 1950: George Orwell (author)

  • Born 1950: Billy Ocean (singer)

  • 1954: U.S.S. Nautilus, world's first nuclear-powered submarine, was launched

  • Born 1956: Geena Davis (actress)

  • Born 1956: Robby Benson (actor)

  • Died 1959: Cecil B. DeMille (director)

  • 1960s

  • Born 1963: Hakeem Olajuwon (basketball player)

  • 1970s

  • 1977: President Jimmy Carter issued a pardon for Vietnam War draft evaders

  • 1979: Pittsburgh Steelers won their third Super Bowl

  • 1980s

  • Died 1985: James Beard (chef & food writer)

  • 1987: Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

  • 1990s

  • Born 1990: Jacob Smith (actor)

  • Died 1998: Jack Lord (actor)

  • 2000s

  • Died 2002: Peggy Lee (singer)

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?