What Does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Mean to You?

Palo Alto Patch wants to know the significance the holiday, official in the U.S. since 1984, for you.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on Monday, Jan. 16. For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to the community, be it through removing grafiti or picking up litter in a local park. For others, it’s an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work. And for others, it’s a time to just kick back and enjoy the prolonged weekend.

So tell us -- What does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy?

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, now a U.S. holiday, took 15 years to create.

Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.

The bill was stalled, but Coyers, along with Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington.

Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day.

Now, the corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.

randy albin January 13, 2012 at 09:56 PM
he was really a young leader. if only we possessed this kind of wisdom and insight
Rachel Stern January 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I agree. He was only in his mid-20s when he led the Montgomery bus boycott, and was the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize (I believe at the age of 35) for all of his activism to end discrimination and desegregation.


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