PHOTOS: The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Black American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

(KRQE)- Monday the United States honors a civil rights icon as Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The day pays tribute to King’s civil rights contributions and his birthday which is January 15, 1929.

King was instrumental in helping lead the fight for equal rights and was the main figure in the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama. King’s powerful “I Have a Dream” speech during 1963’s march on Washington D.C. moved the nation.

He later received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the same year the Civil Rights Act was signed, ending employment discrimination and segregation. MLK Day was made an official federal holiday back in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed it into law.

Black American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
30th March 1965: American civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) and his wife Coretta Scott King lead a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery. (Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)
American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) sits on a couch and speaks on the telephone after encountering a white mob protesting against the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, May 26, 1961. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
OSLO, NORWAY: Coretta Scott King and her husband Martin Luther King 09 December 1964 in Oslo where the US clergyman and civil rights leader received 10 December the Nobel Peace Prize. Martin Luther King was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. King’s killing sent shock waves through American society at the time, and is still regarded as a landmark event in recent US history. (Photo credit should read AFP via Getty Images)
President Lyndon B Johnson (1908 – 1973) discusses the Voting Rights Act with civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968). The act, part of President Johnson’s ‘Great Society’ program trebled the number of black voters in the south, who had previously been hindered by racially inspired laws, 1965. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) speaks at a press conference for Clergy & Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, held at the Belmont Plaza Hotel, New York City, January 12, 1968. He announced the Poor People’s March On Washington at this event. (Photo by John Goodwin/Getty Images)
10th December 1964: American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) (left) receives the Nobel Prize for Peace from Gunnar Jahn, president of the Nobel Prize Committee, in Oslo. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) stands with his wife Coretta and New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner as is presented with the Medal of Honour of the City of NY, New York City, December 18, 1964. (Photo by Agence France Presse/Getty Images)
African-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968, centre) listening to a transistor radio in the front line of the third march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to campaign for proper registration of black voters, 23rd March 1965. Among the other marchers are: Ralph Abernathy (1926 – 1990, second from left), Ralph Bunche (1903 – 1971, third from right) and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907 – 1972, far right). The first march ended in violence when marchers were attacked by police. The second was aborted after a legal injunction was issued. (Photo by William Lovelace/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
March 1965: Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) leads the Alabama Civil Rights march, flanked by supporters. Next to him is fellow campaigner Ralph Abernathy (1926 – 1990). (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) addresses a meeting in Chicago, Illinois, 27th May 1966. (Photo by Jeff Kamen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jnr (1929 – 1968) addresses a crowd in front of the Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama, following a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama. (Photo by William Lovelace/Getty Images)
American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968), watched by Dr. Charles Bousenquet, signs the Degree Roll At Newcastle University after receiving an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree, Newcastle, England, November 14, 1967. (Photo by /Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 19: Early morning light shines on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall on January 19, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Visitors gather at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to celebrate MLK day. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

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