By the numbers: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

WASHINGTON -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January, although Dr. King was actually born on the 15th of January1929, 84 years ago.

Below are some facts and numbers related to the federal holiday, in which Americans are encouraged to participate in a day of service.

27 -- The number of years since the very first national celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 20, 1986.



1 -- The Montgomery Bus Boycott against segregated seating lasted approximately one year, starting December 1, 1955. This is what Dr. Martin King said in his book, "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story": We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.

1 -- In a speech delivered one day before his assassination Dr. King said, "Let us keep the issues where they are."

"That's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people," he said.

44 -- "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve," Dr. King said in his sermon "The Drum Major Instinct," forty-four years ago on February 4, 1968. Mrs. King read the same statement when, in 1994, she asked congress to make the holiday an official national day of humanitarian service.

For more on this CNN Story, click here.