I have a dream.  Those words are four of  the most powerful words ever spoken. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 18th. It is an American holiday honoring one of the most influential and iconic leaders of the civil rights movement.

To celebrate the day, the annual Bell Ringing Ceremony will be held. If you would like to participate to honor the late Dr. King, you can do so at 9:50 a.m. Monday, January 18th at Peak to Plains Park with a reception to follow at the SUB atrium at Montana State University Billings.

King was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Ga., attending segregated public schools.

After earning his high school diploma and starting college at only 15 years old, he went on to obtain a doctorate in 1955.

In 1964, after moving to the forefront of the American civil rights movement, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to establish equal rights for African-Americans.

He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The site is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum.

Establishing a holiday in honor of Dr. King was a long process that took more than 10 years. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King.

It wasn't until 1986, that the federal government actually began to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and it wasn't until the 90s that MLK day was accepted and celebrated all over the country.

State and Federal offices are closed in observance of the day.  Most banks are also closed and, generally speaking, schools are closed as well.  Most private businesses remain open on that day.

But make no mistake, Martin Luther King Day is meant to be a day of volunteering, not just a day from of work or school.

Where do you plan on volunteering?