Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.!

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The 83rd birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., was actually yesterday. But in honor of one of American's greatest heroes, a national holiday commemorates it today.

The clergyman, activist, and civil rights leader became an iconic figure in the 1960s for embracing nonviolent methods to bring about sweeping social reforms.

King's efforts in the American civil rights movements culminated in the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech (below).

One of the most stirring orators in U.S. history, King personified the movement to expand American values to include a vision of an egalitarian, color blind society.

In 1964, MLK became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination in the U.S.

By the time of his death in 1968, at the age of 39, he had refocused his efforts on an even broader scale, seeking to end poverty and the Vietnam War.

Happy birthday to a true giant among men!

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