The First Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

While most Americans can identify civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., they often are not aware of how controversial he was in his time. Using video resources that include documentation of the first federal holiday to honor him to scholars exploring his controversial stances against the Vietnam War and Poor Peoples Campaign, pupils consider his legacy. Clips also include discussion of his powerful "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Offer the resource to help learners trace the evolution of Martin Luther King Jr.'s views on the Vietnam War and civil rights
  • Use resources to structure a class discussion on what other figures should be honored by holidays
Classroom Considerations
  • Teachers may create a free C-SPAN Classroom account or the use of the following login credentials: Username: students, Password: C-SPANCLASSROOM
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Resource includes critical information often overlooked about King's legacy
  • Videos include audio of King's voice, adding emotion and authenticity to the lesson
  • None