Today, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States. In addition to the many programs and events that have been planned on this three-day weekend to pay tribute to the work and ministry of Dr. King, I want to highlight today’s doodle which features the work of artist Keith Mallett. The doodle above captures one of the major themes of King’s speeches and writing: unity.
Dr. King urged Americans of all races to keep “working toward a world of brotherhood, cooperation, and peace.” Recently, all three appear to have been missing in action (MIA) from the American landscape as we witnessed one of the most negative presidential elections in the history of this country.
In addition to Mallett’s artwork, here are three often overlooked or forgotten facts about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
King received his doctorate in systematic theology.
After earning a divinity degree from Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary, King attended graduate school at Boston University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1955. The title of his dissertation was “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Nelson Wieman.”
George Washington is the only other American to have had his birthday observed as a national holiday.
In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that created a federal holiday to honor King. The holiday, first commemorated in 1986, is celebrated on the third Monday in January, close to the civil rights leader’s January 15 birthday.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was the first African American to be named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year (1963).
Time’s tribute to King included a photograph of the civil rights leader on the magazine’s cover, along with a seven-page feature that included pictures of King during some of the most memorable moments of his civil rights career, including a meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson and King’s arrest in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.
King was also the youngest person, at the time, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work with the civil rights movement.
Sources Cited: Time Magazine and History.com.