Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy are visually represented in photographs.

On Monday, we celebrate the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was maybe the most influential figure in the civil rights movement in the United States.

This federal holiday—often abbreviated as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—is commemorated annually on the third Monday of January in the United States. The real birthday of King will be celebrated this year on Monday, January 15th, coinciding with the holiday.

King's activism for the African-American community began in the early 1950s, after he had gained notoriety as a preacher in Montgomery, Alabama. He was a prominent figure in the community there.

Claudette Calvin, a black schoolgirl who refused to give up her seat to a white man in March of 1955, brought attention to the period of time when Jim Crow laws and racial segregation were in effect in the South.

At a later point in time during that same year, Rosa Parks also refused to give up her seat on a municipal bus. It was because of these two occurrences that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Edgar Nixon, an activist and civil rights leader, initiated the Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted for 385 days.

In 1963, a large number of activists staged a major demonstration at the nation's Capitol in response to violent attacks that were carried out against civil rights marchers.

For the purpose of promoting workplace freedom and equality and battling prejudice against Black Americans, Latinos, and other oppressed groups, King and other national civil rights leaders organized the March on Washington.

In a meeting with King and other organizers before the march, President John F. Kennedy expressed his worry that the demonstration may turn violent.  There was unanimous agreement among the campaigners that this march was vital. Kennedy increased Capitol security to make sure everything went off without a hitch.

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