MLK Day of Service

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Cardozo High School

President Clinton paints with a roller during renovation of Cardozo High School classroom, 1/19/1998

Fact Sheet: President Clinton Honors Martin Luther King

The origins of the King Holiday and Service Act and President Clinton’s volunteer actions on the 2000 MLK Day of Service.

In 1994, President Clinton signed the King Holiday and Service Act. The act established the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a national day of service aimed at bringing people of different races and backgrounds together through community service. As part of AmeriCorps, President Clinton and other volunteers celebrated the King Holiday as “a day on, not a day off.”

“Today, all across America, members of AmeriCorps, our national service organization, are working with grassroots community volunteers to pull this country together, not to let it be divided. In Philadelphia, as we meet here, thousands of young people and their teachers are renovating homes for Habitat for Humanity, a project that started here in Georgia and has swept the whole world. In California, 2,300 young people are going to clean parks, remove graffiti, collect food and clothing for people who need it. And as we stand here and sit here, right here in Atlanta, members of the national service corps are joining forces with a coalition of citizens to honor the memory of Martin Luther King by painting classrooms, working at their food bank, renovating a homeless shelter.” - President Clinton, 1/15/1996