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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King press conference 01269u edit.jpg
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964
Official name Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
Also called MLK Day, King Day, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Observed by United States
Type National
Date Third Monday in January
2016 date January 18  (2016-01-18)
2017 date January 16  (2017-01-16)
2018 date January 15  (2018-01-15)
2019 date January 21  (2019-01-21)
Frequency Yearly
This article is part of a series about
Martin Luther King Jr.

Campaigns


Death and memorial

Martin Luther King Jr Signature2.svg


Campaigns

Death and memorial

Martin Luther King Jr Signature2.svg

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

The idea of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King's death, U.S. Representative John Conyers (a Democrat from Michigan) and U.S. Senator Edward Brooke (a Republican from Massachusetts) introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition (King had never held public office). Only two other figures have national holidays in the U.S. honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus.


Year
January 21 1985 1991 2002 2008 2013 2019 2030 2036 2041 2047 2058 2064 2069 2075 2086 2092 2097
January 20 1986 1992 1997 2003 2014 2020 2025 2031 2042 2048 2053 2059 2070 2076 2081 2087 2098
January 19 1987 1998 2004 2009 2015 2026 2032 2037 2043 2054 2060 2065 2071 2082 2088 2093 2099
January 18 1988 1993 1999 2010 2016 2021 2027 2038 2044 2049 2055 2066 2072 2077 2083 2094 2100
January 17 1994 2000 2005 2011 2022 2028 2033 2039 2050 2056 2061 2067 2078 2084 2089 2095
January 16 1989 1995 2006 2012 2017 2023 2034 2040 2045 2051 2062 2068 2073 2079 2090 2096
January 15 1990 1996 2001 2007 2018 2024 2029 2035 2046 2052 2057 2063 2074 2080 2085 2091

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