“During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.” – The King Center
“Born on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a key leader of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. King and his followers fought for the equal rights and equal justice that the United States Constitution ensures for all its citizens. The great legal milestones achieved by this movement were the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the later 1960s, the targets of King’s activism were less often the legal and political obstacles to the exercise of civil rights by blacks, and more often the underlying poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and blocked avenues of economic opportunity confronting black Americans.” – National Archives
Today, this nation honors Dr. King’s legacy with a federal floating holiday.
“Efforts to declare a federal holiday honoring King began shortly after he was assassinated in 1968. It took until 1983 for the measure to be passed and it wasn’t ratified in all states until 2000. Part of the compromise involved in passing the bill was moving it to the third Monday of January to provide more time between News Years holidays and MLK Day, something especially sought by labor unions.
“The third Monday of January was selected, so MLK Day became what’s known as a ‘floating holiday,’ meaning it’s held on different dates each year. This year it’s Jan. 19; next year it will be Jan. 18.” – Alabama Media Group