Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Day is a United States federal holiday. It is celebrated annually on the third Monday of January and is also known as King Day or MLK Day. In some states it is also commonly referred to as Civil Rights Day or Human Rights Day. In recent years it is increasingly seen to be a ‘Day of Service’ when Americans are encouraged to volunteer to help others less fortunate than themselves.
He Was a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to nonviolence This is a day to honor King’s principles, perhaps best exemplified by his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”
He was assassinated in 1968. In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King died, a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. It was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single “Happy Birthday” and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000. In 1990, the Wyoming legislature designated Martin Luther King Jr/Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday.
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