When is Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

Martin Luther King Jr.

When is Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2018? Here is the MLK Day date for the year—plus, learn more about this influential American civil rights leader.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. He was a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and civil rights leader who championed justice and equality. As he said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. King was also a great advocate of change through nonviolence civil actions based on his Christian values. He was a great speaker, and his powerful words resonate with us today. 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
–Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–68)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Year Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
2017 Monday, January 16
2018 Monday, January 15
2019 Monday, January 21

Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day a Federal Holiday?

Yes, the third Monday in January has been a federal holiday since 1986. This means it is a day off for federal employees as well as many schools.

On this holiday, we are paying tribute to the Dr. 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.

Americans are encouraged to observe this day as not just a day off work but also a “Day of Service” to others with appropriate civic, community, and service projects. Visit www.MLKDay.gov to find Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service projects across our country.

Reader Comments

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WHY IS MLK birthday not observed on his actually birthday?

MLK day.

MLK day is a federal holiday. The day is set on the third Monday of January so it can be observed by federal employees, schools, banks and such, and businesses who choose. This way the day each year does not change, even though the date does, like many other holidays.

MLK day 2017

I have always loved history. Those who lived in such a way as to inspire future generations did not live in vain. Dr. King surely was such a man. I believe, as he, that the real issue with many folks is not that of race, but of character. A lack of solid moral character allows one to follows their own senseless, hateful mind, for no other reason than that they are compelled to do so. Unkindness and cruelty grow from a root of hate.
I am a white woman who grew up poor and unpopular in the South. I was not judged for the color of my skin but for being a little girl, then a teen, who did not have possessions and popularity. My mother taught me by word and example to be a kind person and help those in need. Maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way we--all races-- have stopped teaching our children and teens these simple truths. Maybe we have not been practicing them ourselves.
Surely the wrongdoers of any race need to be accountable, but we need to learn to believe, as this gentle man we remember, love and peaceful protest, while declaring truth, speaks much louder than anger.


I know when MLK day is observed, but what I really want to know is when is his birthdate?

Martin Luther King

Good question. Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929.



happy birthday to the one man

Happy birthday to the one man who could stand up for his people and not be afraid of what was coming your and I am sure we all wish you were still here with us today!!!

amen on that. he was a good

amen on that. he was a good man.


I agree. Such an inspiration.

happy birthday martin luther king

Happy Birthday. He inspired me so much.

As a 71-year-old white man, I

As a 71-year-old white man, I must add my gratitude to MLK and everyone who battled with him for improving MY world.

Happy Birthday...We the

Happy Birthday...We, the people, are still having the fight of race. We, as minorities, still have to protect ourselves.
Jeff H- St.Louis,Mo

RIP MLK we still fighting the

RIP MLK we still fighting the fight


I just want to say that he and his family made a really big impact on the rights and the way we live today and I wish I could say to him and his family...THANK YOU!
I will always remember him and the others who fought for me and black children to have the rights that we have today!

Rest In Peace Thank You

Rest In Peace. Thank You for Standing up For Us. Some People Still Hate Us! If ONLY YOU WERE HERE. AWWE MAN!

Happy birthday Mr. King

Happy birthday, Mr. King, Sir.

Happy bday

Happy bday

Thank you, and Mrs Coretta

Thank you, and Mrs Coretta Scott King far being a Leader too us all lol.

Dr. Martin Luther King!

He is and will always be a great and missed man. Dr. Martin Luther King!!! :-)

Happy Birthday Sir! You are

Happy Birthday Sir! You are truly missed.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Excellent Baptist Minister. I am so upset that he passed away at the young adult age of 39. I will say prayers for him and his family on Sunday and Monday this week and for every day of my Life.

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Happy Birthday Dr. King

happy birthday Martin Luther

happy birthday Martin Luther King Jr.

i have the same birthday as

i have the same birthday as Martin Luther King Jr and rip

rest in peace

rest in peace

Where are the great moral

Where are the great moral values? King used to challenge segregation and racism. In only forty-three years we've forgotten them.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday, Martin Luther King.