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Martin Luther King Day Martin Luther King Day
by The Ovi Team
2018-01-15 13:00:22
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It took 15 years to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Congressman John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, first introduced legislation for a commemorative holiday four days after King was assassinated in 1968. After the bill became stalled, petitions endorsing the holiday containing six million names were submitted to Congress. Conyers and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, resubmitted King Holiday legislation each subsequent legislative session. Public pressure for the holiday mounted during the 1982 and 1983 civil rights marches in Washington.  Congress passed the holiday legislation in 1983, which was then signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. A compromise moving the holiday from Jan. 15, King's birthday, which was considered too close to Christmas and New Year's, to the third Monday in January helped overcome opposition to the law.



Martin Luther King Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.




    
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Leah Sellers2012-01-16 20:13:02
Thank you, Ovi Team.
MLK's (and many other Souls like his) Spiritual reverberations and life's lessons are still doing much needed and difficult Work and Enlightenment in America and around the World.


Emanuel Paparella2013-01-16 10:04:37
It should not be forgotten that Senator McCain was one of the principla opponents to the establishment of the holiday. He is the same "nice" fellow who is now opposing appointments to the Cabinet of President Obama and thinks Susan Rice stupid and Sarah Pelin brilliant.


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