Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Giving Speech

Caprice Cain, Reporter

The new year just started and the first holiday, not including New Year’s Day, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This holiday is set on the third Monday of each January and can be from January 15th to January 21st. King fought against racial segregation and systematic racism in the 50’s and 60’s and in 1964. He received the Nobel Peace Prize. King was a major part of the African American civil rights movement: He was also a pastor, activist, and humanitarian. He is most famously known for his “I have a Dream” speech which he gave in 1963. King was a man of peace, often holding peaceful protests, boycotts, marches, and speeches that would sometimes unfortunately turn violent by non-supporters of the civil rights movement and King himself.  

15 years after King was murdered, the King holiday bill was signed by President Ronald Reagan on November 2, 1983. The first day the holiday was celebrated was in 1986 on the third Monday of January. All three Arizona House Republicans voted against the bill in 83’ and in 2000, South Carolina became the last state to sign a bill recognizing MLK Day as a paid holiday. The bill was unable to gain enough support until President Jimmy Carter was elected to office, vowing to support the holiday. Although the holiday is Martin Luther King Day, it is really more about honoring and working towards the ideals he and so many others believed in and are still battling for today.