Why Is Martin Luther King Jr Day Not On His Birthday
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1963, but his birthday is not the only reason why the holiday became a nationwide celebration.
When Representative John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced legislation for a federal holiday four days after his assassination in 1968, it marked the start of an informal commemoration to honor Dr. Kings life.
The following year on Dr. Kings birthday, annual ceremonies were launched by The King Center in Atlanta.
The center called for nationwide ceremonies and began working to gain support for the holiday.
The day became a federal holiday in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law.
Yet, the holiday was first formally celebrated in 1986.
At first, some states resisted observing the holiday, but in the year 2000, all 50 states decided to honor it.
The celebration does not only aim to honor Dr. Kings birthday but all the civil rights advances he chartered while being alive.
Although, the holiday sometimes lands on Dr. Kings birthday depending on the calendar.
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What Is Martin Luther King Jr Day
BAY COUNTY, Fla. Each year on the third Monday of January the United States observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Several events were held in the late Dr. Kings honor over the weekend in the Panhandle. Many took the time to acknowledge how essential Kings influence has been throughout the years.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday is a day that is designed to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge gaps, create solutions to social problems and bring us all closer to fulfilling Kings dream of the beloved community, Dr. Rufus L. Wood, Jr., Bay County NAACP , said.
According to National Today, the holiday was first observed on January 20, 1986. It was moved to being observed on the third Monday of January rather than Kings birthday. It follows the guidelines of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s time on Earth was limited to 39 years. The Civil Rights Movement 13 years. Oh, what a difference he made in the world. Dr. King used his time to bring about positive change in America and the world, Wood said.
Some would say King was a man of many talents, during his time alive he served as a preacher, an orator, a theologian, a scholar, an author a humanitarian, and even a civil rights activist. Kings influence has even inspired organizations.
Davis was one of several guest speakers to participate in a virtual zoom discussion honoring King while discussing the state of voting rights in America and election law.
When Was It Finally Established As A Federal Holiday
In the years that followed Kings assassination, many statesincluding Illinois, Massachusetts, and Connecticutpassed laws to celebrate Kings birthday as a state holiday. Congress first voted to create a national holiday in 1979, but the legislation failed by five votes in the House. Following a heated debate in the Senate, the bill was finally approved by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Even then, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was met with strong resistance from some states it wasnt until 2000 that all 50 states recognized Kings birthday as a federal holiday.
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Criticism Within The Movement
King was criticized by other black leaders during the course of his participation in the civil rights movement. This included opposition by more militant thinkers such as Nation of Islam member Malcolm X.Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee founder Ella Baker regarded King as a charismatic media figure who lost touch with the grassroots of the movement as he became close to elite figures like Nelson Rockefeller.Stokely Carmichael, a protege of Baker’s, became a black and disagreed with King’s plea for racial integration because he considered it an insult to a uniquely African-American culture.
How Martin Luther King Jrs Birthday Became A Holiday
The effort to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a federal holiday began four days after his assassination on April 4, 1968. However, it took more than 15 years for that to happen.
Four days after King is assassinated, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., introduces the first legislation proposing a federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.
1973-1979 Several states enact statewide King holidays, including Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.
After 10 years of petitions from millions of Americans, Washington lawmakers hold an official hearing to discuss the idea. Kings wife, Coretta Scott, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Legislation for the holiday is defeated in a floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives by five votes.
Singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder releases Happy Birthday, a song that becomes a rallying cry for the pro-holiday movement.
1982 Coretta Scott King, along with Stevie Wonder, presents a petition signed by 6 million people to House Speaker Tip ONeill.
More than 500,000 people attend a 20th Anniversary March on Washington to honor King and the civil rights movement. Speaker after speaker calls for a federal holiday on Kings birthday.
The U.S. House of Representatives passes the King Holiday Bill, 338-90.
The King Holiday Bill passes the Senate, 78-22.
President Ronald Reagan signs the bill into law, declaring the third Monday in January the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday.
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Return To Wittenberg And Peasants’ War
Luther secretly returned to Wittenberg on 6 March 1522. He wrote to the Elector: “During my absence, Satan has entered my sheepfold, and committed ravages which I cannot repair by writing, but only by my personal presence and living word.” For eight days in Lent, beginning on Invocavit Sunday, 9 March, Luther preached eight sermons, which became known as the “Invocavit Sermons”. In these sermons, he hammered home the primacy of core Christian values such as love, patience, charity, and freedom, and reminded the citizens to trust God’s word rather than violence to bring about necessary change.
Do you know what the Devil thinks when he sees men use violence to propagate the gospel? He sits with folded arms behind the fire of hell, and says with malignant looks and frightful grin: “Ah, how wise these madmen are to play my game! Let them go on I shall reap the benefit. I delight in it.” But when he sees the Word running and contending alone on the battle-field, then he shudders and shakes for fear.
The effect of Luther’s intervention was immediate. After the sixth sermon, the Wittenberg jurist Jerome Schurf wrote to the elector: “Oh, what joy has Dr. Martin’s return spread among us! His words, through divine mercy, are bringing back every day misguided people into the way of the truth.”
Year Battle: The Fight For Mlk Day
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, also known as MLK Day, is celebrated every year in the United States on the third Monday in January to honor the achievements of the civil rights leader who advocated for nonviolent resistance against racial segregation.
Its also the only federal holiday designated by Congress as a National Day of Service. Americans are encouraged to follow in Dr. Kings footsteps by participating in public service activities.
Its a day on, not a day off, said Dr. Martin L. Boston, Assistant Professor in Pan African Studies and Ethnic Studies at California State University, Sacramento. There is no better term to say who Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was than a servant. So, MLK Day is a time to think about the most marginalized, most under-resourced, most undervalued people, and think of ways that you can service those people.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is, usually, celebrated nationwide with marches, parades, special ceremonies, and community service events. But it was a long battle to get MLK Day recognized as a national federal holiday.
Even though MLK Day represents an American hero, service, and unity among all, it took 15 years for the federal government to approve the holiday and an additional 17 years for it to be recognized in all 50 states.
2022 King Holiday Observance Beloved Community Commemorative Service
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
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Survived Knife Attack 1958
On September 20, 1958, King was signing copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom in Blumstein’s department store in Harlem when he narrowly escaped death. Izola Currya mentally ill black woman who thought that King was conspiring against her with communistsstabbed him in the chest with a letter opener, which nearly impinged on the aorta. King received first aid by police officers Al Howard and Philip Romano. King underwent emergency surgery with three doctors: Aubre de Lambert Maynard, Emil Naclerio and John W. V. Cordice he remained hospitalized for several weeks. Curry was later found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Read A Brief Summary Of This Topic
, original name Michael King, Jr., , Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. His leadership was fundamental to that movements success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. King rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the massive , to achieve civil rights. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
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If King’s Birthday Is Jan 15 Why Is Mlk Day On The Third Monday In January
You can thank the Uniform Monday Holiday Act for that, according to the Department of Labor. The bill was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, and originally designated that three federal holidays Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Washington’s birthday would fall on Monday, according to the bill. It also recognized Columbus Day as a federal holiday. Years later, Veterans Day was returned to its original date of Nov. 11.
The act was meant to “enable families who live some distance apart to spend more time together” and allow federal employees time to travel, Johnson said in a 1968 statement.
So, while King’s birthday is Wednesday, Jan. 15, this year, it is celebrated like some of the other floating holidays under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
Contributing: Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY
Start Of The Reformation
In 1516, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell indulgences to raise money in order to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Tetzel’s experiences as a preacher of indulgences, especially between 1503 and 1510, led to his appointment as general commissioner by Albrecht von Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz, who, deeply in debt to pay for a large accumulation of benefices, had to contribute the considerable sum of ten thousand ducats toward the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Albrecht obtained permission from Pope Leo X to conduct the sale of a special plenary indulgence , half of the proceeds of which Albrecht was to claim to pay the fees of his benefices.
A Question to a Mintmaker
Luther objected to a saying attributed to Tetzel that “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” He insisted that, since forgiveness was God’s alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances.
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Talking To Kids About Civil Rights
A significant difference between the movement Dr. King led in the 1960s and that of recent years is that today, we see families from all races supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. And our experts agree: children can comprehend conversations about civil rights. As parents, we might have a desire to protect kids from uncomfortable conversations, especially those about people doing things we might wish hadn’t happened. But children today are aware of the protests following the George Floyd killing because it resonated with many young people of all races. Nearly 1 in 5 members of generation Alpha have taken part in a march or protest on an issue they care about.
Matt Albert, Ed.D., executive director of the Center for Reflective Communities, believes children can learn two most important lessons from Dr. King: young people have the power to make a change, and racism is alive and well, specifically in ways that are much harder to see.
Opposition To The Vietnam War
The black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes. It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flawsracism, poverty, militarism, and materialism. It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced
Martin Luther King Jr.
We must recognize that we cant solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together you cant really get rid of one without getting rid of the others the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and must put own house in order.
Martin Luther King Jr.
During an April 4, 1967, appearance at the New York City Riverside Churchexactly one year before his deathKing delivered a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” He spoke strongly against the U.S.’s role in the war, arguing that the U.S. was in Vietnam “to occupy it as an American colony” and calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” He connected the war with economic injustice, arguing that the country needed serious moral change:
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Poor People’s Campaign 1968
In 1968, King and the SCLC organized the “Poor People’s Campaign” to address issues of economic justice. King traveled the country to assemble “a multiracial army of the poor” that would march on Washington to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol until Congress created an “economic bill of rights” for poor Americans.
The campaign was preceded by King’s final book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? which laid out his view of how to address social issues and poverty. King quoted from Henry George and George’s book, Progress and Poverty, particularly in support of a guaranteed basic income. The campaign culminated in a march on Washington, D.C., demanding economic aid to the poorest communities of the United States.
King and the SCLC called on the government to invest in rebuilding America’s cities. He felt that Congress had shown “hostility to the poor” by spending “military funds with alacrity and generosity.” He contrasted this with the situation faced by poor Americans, claiming that Congress had merely provided “poverty funds with miserliness.” His vision was for change that was more revolutionary than mere reform: he cited systematic flaws of “racism, poverty, militarism and materialism”, and argued that “reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced.”
When Was Martin Luther King Jr Day Established
Legislation making Martin Luther King, Jr., Day a federal holiday was passed in 1983, and the first nationwide observance took place in 1986. Legislation for the holiday had been introduced in Congress in 1968 but initially received enough opposition to block its passage, though states and cities began honouring Kings birthday, January 15, as early as 1970.
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Discuss With The Intent To Listen
Have a conversation about what you all read and watched. Explain in an age-appropriate way what life seemed like for Black children when Dr. King was alive. Ask them these open-ended questions to facilitate a deeper understanding:
- What was so unique notable about the way Dr. King encouraged people to take a stand?
- What do you think the world would be like if Martin Luther King Jr. had not stood up for civil rights or helped to organize others?
If your children are younger, have the conversation and ask them to draw pictures about how it would make them feel to be treated in this way. In both instances, encourage your children to explain why the world is a better place because of Dr. King.
Who Proposed Martin Luther King Jr Day And Why
So, why do we honor Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday? After Kings assassination, many communities paid tribute to the civil rights leader by naming public buildings, streets, and other landmarks after him. Congress, for its part, considered creating a federal holiday in Kings name as a way to both commemorate his legacy and promote the civil rights movement that he had championed. Representative John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, introduced a bill for the holiday just four days after King was assassinated. At the time, however, there were several conspiracy theories surrounding Martin Luther King Jr.s death.
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