6. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – To Remember a Civil Rights Leader
The third Monday in January is an American
holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It falls
the birthday of the civil rights leader, who
assassinated in 1968. King, a minister, became known
non-violently protesting the treatment of African-Americans in the
States and laws that discriminated against Blacks. Specifically,
protested segregation that separated blacks and whites in
restrooms, public pools, public schools, on buses, and
restaurants. King led many marches in the United
, especially in the South where segregation was especially
and enforced, and in Washington D.C. His march
Washington D.C. was perhaps his most famous one,
he gave the "I have a Dream" speech.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, federal, state, and
offices are closed including public schools and post
. On the holiday many people participate in marches
vigils remembering Dr. King. Others use the day
a day of service and volunteer in their
by cleaning up garbage in a local park
serving food to the homeless. However, the holiday
controversial. Some states didn't want to honor Dr.
and tried to rename the holiday or combine
day with another holiday.
Only two other people
a U.S. national holiday, Christopher Columbus and George
. Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a holiday
1983 after pressure from civil rights activists and
, similar to the ones King used to lead.
to create a King holiday began the same
King was killed. The first state to recognize
Day as a holiday was Illinois. The last
to recognize the holiday was Arizona.