Let’s Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day every year on the third Monday of January. This year, Fennemore joins the nation in recognizing this momentous occasion on January 17.
Dr. King was an influential civil rights leader in the 1960s. He is known for his efforts to end racial inequality and racial segregation in the U.S. Part of our observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, however, should be to consider the work that still must be accomplished in the fight for racial equality.
The History Of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The idea of this holiday is to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. This day started just a few years after his death in 1968. U.S. Representative John Conyers and U.S. Senator Edward Brooke introduced a bill in Congress in 1979 to make Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday. The legislation was defeated by five votes, with opponents citing the cost of giving another paid holiday to federal employees and the fact that enacting a holiday to honor a private citizen would be against the country’s tradition (Dr. King never held public office).
In 1983, the bill was once again considered. It passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 338-90, and President Reagan signed it into law on November 2, 1983. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first celebrated on January 20, 1986. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January rather than on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday because it adheres to the guidelines of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy
Dr. King’s legacy is one of achieving civil rights for Blacks through nonviolent protest and harnessing the effect of unifying the masses to achieve a common goal of equality.
Dr. King brought about change in policies that impacted minorities unfairly throughout the country. Dr. King’s legacy is a model for how we can fight inequality today.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
This holiday is typically celebrated with marches, parades, and speeches by civil rights leaders and politicians. But the day is unique among our holidays because it is also a day of service.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a day when Americans effort to make our communities more equitable and take action to create a better society. Many people volunteer on this holiday to engage with their community and honor the legacy of Dr. King. Some ideas for service include cleaning a public park, mentoring a young person, helping needy seniors, and volunteering at a food bank.
These actions make our country better and help further the legacy of Dr. King, who said, “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.”
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