MLK Day 2023

MLK Day 2023

Ryan Bruce, Contributor

Bob Jones will have Monday, the 16th, off of school in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

MLK day is celebrated on the third Monday of every January. Ronald Reagan made it a federal holiday in 1983, 15 years after King’s death in 1968. King was a great leader of the American civil rights movement, and his work as an activist was crucial to passing the Civil Rights Acts of the time. His face is widely seen as the face of the movement, and he’ll go down in history as one of the most incredible activists of all time. King was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace prize when it was awarded to him, and he remains the youngest male Nobel Peace Prize winner. He pledged the $50,000 prize money to the civil rights cause. King organized protests such as the March on Washington, the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, and sit-ins across America. He is especially famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech and his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. 

In Alabama, people can visit the sites of different historical events in civil rights history. The state capitol building in Montgomery was the final destination of the Selma to Montgomery march led by King. There is also the Rosa Parks Museum, the Legacy Museum, and the Dexter Parsonage Museum, where King himself once lived. There are also historic churches, such as the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where planning for the Montgomery Bus Boycotts once took place. The Civil Rights Memorial Center is also in Montgomery, built to honor those who died while fighting for civil rights in the 50s and 60s.  Birmingham, famously the site of many protests throughout the civil rights era, also has some landmarks available to visit. The 16th Street Baptist Church, the place of a bombing that killed four young girls, and the Bethel Baptist Church, the place of 3 bombings. The Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham also displays sculptures made to represent the fight for civil rights.

In the past, Bob Jones has offered field trips to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a museum that showcases art and pieces of history from the African American community. 

In Huntsville, you can learn more about the Civil Rights movement and even see where Dr. King once spoke by taking the Rocket City Civil Rights Driving Tour. Click HERE.