National Archives News

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

Martin Luther King Jr and other civil rights leaders in the Oval Office

In January, to honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we remember his contributions to the nation and his role in the civil rights movement. Additional resources about African American history can be found on the African American History special topics page and the African American Research page.

Featured Documents and Online Exhibits

Kennedy Library: Correspondence between Martin Luther King Jr. and the White House

Johnson Library: Documents and telephone conversations relating to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today's Document: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

NARA Preservation Tumblr: MLK's Selective Service System Draft Card

NARA Flickr: Civil Rights March on Washington, DC, August 28, 1963


Pieces of History: January 18, 1964–Martin Luther King Jr. & LBJ

Martin Luther King Jr. and Memphis Sanitation Workers

1963 March on Washington

Kennedy Library: Leaders in the Struggle for Civil Rights - Martin Luther King Jr.

Reagan Library: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Video Resources

Martin Luther King at the Lincoln Memorial August 1963

Martin Luther King Clip Reel

Nine short stories on Martin Luther King, Jr., produced by the USIA for Black History month. Stories include: King holiday; wreath-laying at the Lincoln Memorial; Jesse Jackson on MLK; King/Civil Rights; Reagan speaking to schoolchildren; MLK bust unveiled at the Capitol; Andrew Young reflects; MLK celebration/Atlanta;and MLK celebration/Washington, DC.

Martin Luther King Press Conference

Martin Luther King, Jr., was interviewed by four journalists for “Press Conference U.S.A.,” a U.S. Information Agency (USIA) series that was distributed internationally.

The March (1963, restored)

To mark the 50th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom, the Motion Picture Preservation Lab completed a full digital restoration of James Blue's monumental film, The March, in 2008.

At Presidential Libraries

Donald J. Trump Library

Proclamation on Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, 2021

Barack Obama Library

Dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

George W. Bush Library

Proclamation on Martin Lulher King Jr. Federal Holiday, 2003

William J. Clinton Library

Remarks by Vice President Al Gore on Martin Luther King Day, 1/17/2000

George H.W. Bush Library

Remarks on Signing the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday Commission Extension Act

Ronald Reagan Library

Reagan Library - Proclamation 5431: Establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1/18/86

Ronald Reagan Library Topic Guide: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Gerald R. Ford Library

Statement for Martin Luther King's Day

Lyndon B. Johnson Library

Documents and telephone conversations relating to Martin Luther King, Jr.

LBJ and Martin Luther King Jr. speak after JFK's assassination (November 25, 1963)

LBJ and Martin Luther King Jr. discuss the Voting Rights Act (January 15, 1965)

John F. Kennedy Library

Findings on the MLK Assassination

Robert F. Kennedy’s Statement (with audio) on Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Correspondence between Martin Luther King Jr. and the White House