The battle for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday lasted 32 years, with many campaigns, guest appearances such as Stevie Wonder, Ted Kennedy, and the National Football League.
How the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) birthday became a holiday
The king’s birthday was finally adopted as a federal holiday in 1983, and all 50 states nationalized it in 2000.
King was officially born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. But King’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January every year.
The King Center in Atlanta has a detailed timeline showing how the endeavors that began shortly after King’s death in 1968 have been successful over the long term. It wasn’t an easy task for vacationers who had to lobby hard in Congress to create a state holiday.
The second battle for national recognition of the holiday was also fought with emotional disputes, often in the two states.
Today’s King’s Day has several purposes: To honor the King’s entire legacy. Focus on the issue of civil rights; Refers to the use of nonviolence to promote change. He invites people to public service.
The struggle for the recognition of the holiday reflects all of these themes, along with some interesting twists.
In 1968, just four days after King’s murder in Memphis, MP John Connery made the first proposal to make Martin King’s birthday a public holiday. There were eleven years until the national holiday for a vote in the House of Representatives in 1979.
The bill was passed by a two-thirds majority but fell to 252-133 with five votes, despite strong oversight from the King Center and support from Congressman and President Jimmy Carter.
Oath followers met and redoubled their efforts. Musician Stevie Wonder helped launch Happy Birthday in 1981 to promote the holiday. (He later read it at the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr.Memorial.)
The Shah Center continued its efforts. A demonstration took place in Washington, attended by around 500,000 people. Corta Scott King and Wonder have tabled a $ 6 million signature drive to House Speaker O’Neill.
The House of Representatives passed the 1983 bill with 53 votes. Democrats O’Neill and Jim Wright, along with Republicans Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich, voted for the Luthar King’s holiday.
But the bill is being debated in the Senate. North Carolina Senator Jesse Holmes publicly opposed it. Holmes initially caused a stir, then presented a 400-page dossier accusing King of being a communist.
Senator Ted Kennedy criticized Holmes, called Senator Daniel Muniahan “dirty” and threw him into the Senate.
Despite Holmes, the Senate passed the bill by 12 votes – even South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond voted to remove King from office.
martin Luther king jr day federal holiday
In November 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill. The king’s first federal holiday was celebrated in 1986.
It took longer for all 50 states to adopt the MLK national holiday. By 1986 they had already accepted 17 countries. But in Arizona, there was strong opposition to the holidays.
The clashes between state lawmakers culminated in a referendum in Arizona in November 1990 when King’s vacation was taking place. At that time, state boycott artists began protesting, and the NFL threatened to move the 1993 Superball out of Tempe if the holiday falls in the polls.
martin King day vacation failed in a two-part referendum, and the NFL countered their threat by bringing the Super Bowl to Southern California, grossing about $ 500 million for the state.
Two years later, Arizona voters approved the martin Luther day Holidays.
Clashes broke out in South Carolina during the holidays as well. It was one of the last states to give government employees paid vacation in 2000. The state government attempted to combine the holiday with a promise to allow the State House to fly the Confederate flag. Instead, he signed a bill to pass the Luther King’s Feast Day along with Confederate Memorial Day, which was celebrated in May.