Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday to celebrate the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr – an activist of African-American Civil Rights Movement. This US federal holiday is observed every year on the third Monday of January, adjacent with the actual date of Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday on 15 January 1929.
When is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2014?
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2014 falls on Monday, 20 January 2014.
The Origin of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The discussion to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday as a public holiday in the US began after his assassination in 1968. In 1979, the bill to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was sent to the US House of Representative, yet, it didn’t pass since the number of votes supporting the bill wasn’t enough.
President Ronald Reagan eventually signed the bill after the collection of six million signatures for a petition to pass the bill and the approval from the Congress with an overwhelming majority of votes supporting the bill. On 20 January 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was observed as US federal holiday for the first time although some states still declined to observe it. Since the year of 2000, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has been celebrated in all 50 states of the United States.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Outside US
Besides US, some other places from different countries also celebrate Martin Luther King’s, Jr. Day. Some of them are Hiroshima in Japan and Toronto in Canada. Hiroshima and Toronto do not observe Martin Luther King’s, Jr. Day as a public holiday, yet both of them officially recognize the day as an act to spread the message of human rights equality for all people regardless their gender, race, and social status.