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Things We Saw Today: The Internet Observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Calls to Action

A tweet from Martin Luther King III shows his father Martin Luther King Jr. marching for civil rights

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and social media resounds with posts honoring his life, legacy, and transformational leadership. The federal holiday in America was signed into law in 1983 and officially observed in all 50 states beginning in 2000. It celebrates the civil rights icon’s birthday, January 15th, 1929, on the third Monday every January.

Many also use MLK Day as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, “a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of King,” as championed by Congressman John Lewis and Senator Harris Wofford. As a testament to the fact that Dr. King’s vital work and activism is ever ongoing, members of his family marched in Washington D.C. not only to mark the day but to demand the Senate end the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. Online, a torrent of social media posts both honor Dr. King and draw attention to America’s continued struggle for civil rights.

Per The Washington Post:

“To the president and United States senators, you were successful with infrastructure, which is a great thing,” [King’s son Martin Luther] King III told the crowd gathered outside Nationals Park before they headed over the bridge. “But you need to use the same energy to ensure all Americans have an unencumbered right to vote.”

A Tweet from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley further drove this home:

Social media feeds filled with pictures, quotes, and calls to action as we remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

This is only the smallest sampling of a flood of social media posts on MLK Day. You can follow along on Twitter via the hashtag #MLKDay.

(image: Martin Luther King III on Twitter/screenshot)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.