Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday. The holiday is the third Monday in January. Martin Luther King, Junior’s birthday is January 15, 1929. He was assassinated in 1968. A holiday in his honor was first proposed in 1968. It became law in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed the document. It was first observed January 20, 1986. Some states fought the idea, and it was first observed in all 50 states in 2000. Lately people have proposed that the day become a day of service and not just a holiday. Some organizations paint/repair community buildings. Others improve parks and highways. Others work with charity groups. Children could learn more about the Martin Luther King Day of Service at: http://mlkday.gov/.
First basketball game was played in 1892. James Naismith was working at the School for Christian Workers, now Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was told to develop a new game to keep athletes fit in the winter months. Using a soccer ball and two peach bushel baskets, he created the game of Basket Ball. Idea: Children could organize a basketball mini-tournament. Children can read more about the original rules of the game at: Basketball Rules. Children could also read John Coy’s Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball.
Tedd Arnold (born Elmira, New York, 1949) has written and/or illustrated over 50 books for children. His book Rat Life received the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. He is well known for his Fly Guy series. Children can find coloring pages and book marks at his website: Tedd Arnold.
Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Aldrin in Montclair, New Jersey, 1930) is an astronaut and the second person to walk on the moon. On July 20, 1969, he followed Neil Armstrong and walked on the moon’s surface. Older children can visit his website at: Buzz Aldrin.
Richard Henry Lee (born Virginia, 1732; died Virginia, June 19, 1794) signed Declaration of Independence. Born into a very wealthy family, he received some of his education in England. His family was steeped in politics, and Lee was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1758. He was one of the first leaders to advocate independence. On June 7, 1776, he spoke to the Continental Congress and proposed, “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” That speech started the process of independence. During the Revolutionary War, he was president of Congress, making him the leader of the new country. After the Revolutionary War, he was one of Virginia’s senators. He resigned from the Senate in 1792 due to illness and an accident.