History of Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday marking the birth of Martin Luther King, a US civil rights leader and peace activist. It is celebrated on the fourth Monday of February every year. King’s birthday is February 15. The holiday is very similar to other federal holidays designated under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
On this day, people around the world to honor King and his work. Some countries have separate celebrations with separate names for the birthday. Canada has King Day, while Mexico’s name is Los Dedromos, and the other countries’ names are the same as the United States: Washington, Jefferson, Martin, Dr. King, and Ella B. Wells. What is martin luther king day? Most notable for being the first national holiday in the US to recognize the contributions of King, it is also the first federal holiday in over fifty years not to include women or minorities.
Martin Luther King Day was a direct result of the civil rights leader’s efforts to help desegregate the country. On 3rd Miday, 1963, at the historic Martin Luther King Jr.’s Memorial plaque is placed in the main plaza of New York, where King sat and had spoken important words leading up to the historic “I Have A Dream” speech. A week later, the statue was vandalized by graffiti artists who spray painted “Hands up if you want to get out of my Street!” on its pedestal.
To mark the historic day, the federal government offers a range of activities that commemorate King. A National Historic Site Survey is conducted in March, the third Monday of January every year. Among the many activities commemorating King’s legacy, the National Holiday Commission is establishing to “honor and recognize the significant contributions made by Dr. King.” This commission was established by President George W. Bush in order to improve the National Park Service to ensure a balanced and appropriate use of King Day to all Americans.
The first thing Dayschecker.com wants you to know about King is that he was assassinated within weeks of becoming the national spokesperson for the American civil rights movement. King had been speaking out against the unjust treatment of African-Americans when, in fact, he and several other individuals were prevented from traveling to Chicago for a scheduled speaking engagement following the assassination. In the days immediately following his death, hundreds of thousands of his supporters took to the streets in demonstrations against the racist views and policies of the former president and the federal government. While it was clear to those who were organizing these demonstrations that the public needed to come out and protest the escalating violence against minorities in the United States, they faced tremendous opposition from local and national officials who deemed the demonstrations an illegal obstruction of justice.
One of the many reasons why Dr. King is still revered fifty years after his death is his non-violent efforts to promote greater social justice, economic equality, and racial harmony throughout the United States. His message of unity and non-violence is relevant today more than ever. His biography is a model of non-violent resistance and inspiration to us all.