In Houston and all across the nation, this is the day to remember the life and the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the 26th time since his death, Americans marked the legacy of Dr. King as a federal holiday. He is considered one of America's most inspirational leaders and became a national icon for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination through civil disobedience.
Thirty-three years ago, Houston was the first city to honor Dr. King with a parade and that tradition continued Monday with two parades. And his father, Dr. King Sr., was the very first grand marshal of that event. This was the 34th Annual Original MLK Birthday Parade and it included floats and bands and cars carrying elected officials. Eyewitness News spoke with some young spectators about what this day means to them.
"Today is the greatest day of my life. Because it's Martin Luther King's birthday, said Xavier Johnson, age 7.
"Because he made everything change," said 5-year-old Katelynn Cherry when we asked her why the day is important.
"Because we're all human and we're people and we should be respected the same way," said Alexis Ceasar, age 9.
The day's celebrations don't stop with the parades; there are several voter registration drives and service projects going on across the city as a nod to this national day of service in honor of Dr. King's contributions.
King's birthday, which is January 15, is observed every third Monday of the month of January.