January 15, 2012, would have been Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 83rd birthday. This great leader lost his life in 1968, at only 39 years of age, but the good works he did during his lifetime have had a positive impact on his generations and the generations that followed. Ronald Reagan, during his presidency, declared Martin Luther King, Jr., Day to be a holiday. It is now observed throughout the United States on January 16th.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was destined for greatness. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he later completed college, seminary, and doctoral studies. He had become a pastor at only twenty-five years of age. He was one of the most noteable individuals in the Civil Rights Movement, and strongly opposed the war in Vietnam. With nonviolence as his theme, he affected change, earning the respect of people throughout America. In 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize, and donated his prize money to the Civil Rights Movement. In 1977 and 2004, respectively, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Martin Luther King envisioned a better world-- especially in terms of racial harmony. Although an assassin took his life more than four decades ago, his message continues to live on. On this year's Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, you can observe the holiday and celebrate the person behind it. You can start by reading one or more of his books, checking out some online sites, or watching a television special. The way to keep his Dream alive is to make sure no one forgets.