Michael King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, bearing the name of his father, Reverend Michael King. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because that child went on to become civil-rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. Why the change? It sparked from his father’s travels to Germany, where he became inspired by Martin Luther, the 16th-century leader of the Protestant Reformation. This influence was so strong that the Reverend changed both his name as well as that of his five-year-old son to Martin Luther. An icon was thus born, and he went on to become one of the most important figures of 20th-century American history. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the third Monday in in January every year, and Americans are encouraged to volunteer their local communities to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy.