Idaho Human Rights Day - Prepare for a parade honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr., our favorite civil-rights activist.

Idaho Human Rights Day 2025 – January 20, 2025

Idaho Human Rights Day is observed on the third Monday in January every year. The day is a holiday in the state of Idaho. It is a day to celebrate the birthday of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.M.L.K. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, as the second child of Martin Luther King Sr.We use this day to honor his achievements and celebrate diversity. There was a time when we considered diversity and a minority population to be weaknesses rather than strengths. Now, things are different, thanks to great people like King, and the change he inspired among the entire U.S. population.

History of Idaho Human Rights Day

Governor Dirk Kempthorne started Idaho Human Rights Day on January 16, 2006. It is celebrated close to the birthday of the famous civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. In Idaho, the day is known as Martin Luther King Jr. — Idaho Human Rights Day.Michael was the second child of Martin Luther King Sr. and later changed his name to Martin Luther King Jr. M.L.K. was a fortunate kid to have been born into a financially secure middle-class family. He had a better education and more opportunities than other children of his race. M.L.K. understood his good luck and wanted his fellow black people to enjoy the opportunities that he had.At the start of his education, King was not an exceptional student by any means. But that changed when he started his studies at Crozer. He became an avid reader of theology and philosophy. During his time at Crozer, he became acquainted with the pacifist ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the nationalist movement in India, against the British.The Montgomery Bus Boycott incident of 1955 brought M.L.K. to the national frontier. He was successful in leading a campaign against the practice of segregating black and white people inside buses. The black people had to leave their seats for any white person. The campaign was a success, with the supreme court verdict illegalizing discrimination on public transport systems. M.L.K. went on to create campaigns against civil injustice throughout the rest of his life. The Birmingham conflicts made M.L.K. a national figure and forced the federal government to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964.The life of M.L.K. is a story of endurance, willpower, and conviction. He inspired the whole world to celebrate diversity and fight oppression. Idaho Human Rights Day is a celebration of his legacy.

Idaho Human Rights Day timeline

Student-Body President

Martin Luther King Jr. becomes the first African American student-body president in Crozer.

The formation of the S.S.L.C.

King helps establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to fight discrimination against African Americans.

The Path of Peace

M.L.K. travels to India to learn the school of non-violence that Mahatma Gandhi effectively uses for the Indian freedom struggle.


James Earl Ray assassinates King on April 4.

Idaho Human Rights Day FAQs

How many times was Martin Luther King Jr. sent to jail?

King was arrested 29 times throughout his life as a civil rights activist. Once, he chose jail over a fine, but the Police Commissioner, Clyde Sellers, paid the fine himself and released King.

How did Kennedy help Martin Luther King?

In 1960, John Kennedy and his brother convinced the judge to release King for trespassing violations. This news spread through the black community. Kennedy won the election and black votes played a key role in his victory.

Did Martin Luther King write his famous speech, "I Have a Dream"?

King did not pen the full speech by himself. He received valuable input from his advisers, Clarence Jones and Stanley Levison. he added some points based on many others’ input in his final speech.

How to Observe Idaho Human Rights Day

  1. Create posters about human rights

    Idaho Human Rights Day is about the importance of human rights and a celebration of diversity. Create posters showcasing the history of civil rights movements. We suggest going beyond our country's borders and showcasing the struggles faced by other countries as well.

  2. Read King’s books

    M.L.K. wrote a few books in his lifetime, including "The Trumpet of Conscience" and "Why We Can't Wait." Dedicate the day to reading any of his books. There are other books written about M.L.K.’s history and Legacy. Select one and spend the day finishing it.

  3. Listen to “I Have a Dream”

    Understand King’s timeless speech. Listen to it, spread its meaning, and inspire others to learn it. If there are people who do not yet know who M.L.K. is and what he stood for, educate them.

5 Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. He changed his name

    His birth name was Michael, but he changed it to what we know him as today.

  2. The youngest Nobel Laureate

    King received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35, making him the youngest person to receive the award at that time.

  3. Nonpresidential national holiday

    King is the only person who is not a president to have a national holiday dedicated to him.

  4. Memorial on the National Mall

    He is also the only person with a memorial inside the National Mall in Washington D.C.

  5. Street name magnet

    There are approximately 900 streets in the U.S. named after King.

Why Idaho Human Rights Day is Important

  1. He fought the battle of ideas

    King did not use weapons of mass destruction; he used non-violence to fight oppression; he chose smile over rage; he used words over arms. His convictions proved to be right, and, in the end, he won — even in death.

  2. He preached equality and meant it

    It is not easy to accomplish everything you preach. King led by example, walking the path he preached and demonstrating to the world that equality is a right, not a gift.

  3. He spoke with clarity and vision

    King took lessons and ideas from all over the world, from philosophies, and theologies. He read endlessly and expressed himself with clarity and vision. He learned from his mistakes and improvised.

Idaho Human Rights Day dates

Year Date Day
2022 January 17 Monday
2023 January 16 Monday
2024 January 15 Monday
2025 January 20 Monday
2026 January 19 Monday