Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.is best known for his role in the civil rights movement where his inspiring lectures, speeches and leadership encouraged masses to use nonviolent methods to change American society split by racial segregation.
To honor his life, Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1983. It was first celebrated three years later on the third Monday in January, to celebrate King’s birthday, Jan. 15. This year, MLK Day falls on Jan. 19.
In 1994, Martin Luther King Day of Service was established. Called "a day on, not a day off," the idea is for citizens to give back to their communities on the federal holiday.
“Dr. King was so much about service and giving back and community gatherings and bringing people together from all walks of life,” Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, told the Washington Post. “What better way to honor him than . . . by making it a day of service that lives out what he preached about?”
For those wishing to pay tribute to King’s message and legacy, below are 15 inspirational quotes from the civil rights leader:
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”
“If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“I have decided to stick to love... Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'”
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”