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Inside This Issue
The Reason We Do What We Do
The Resolution That Leads to Better Grades
3 Keys to Settling Out of Court
Revive That Leftover Turkey!
The History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Four days later, a legislative bill was proposed to establish a federal holiday in his honor. It would be the first of many. MLK DAY The Battle for
The battle for a day of remembrance for Martin Luther King Jr. was long — too long, considering his life and legacy. But we ultimately got better than we bargained for: America’s first Day of Service, rather than a day of remembrance. That first bill didn’t come to a vote until 1979. It lost by five votes. Opponents claimed that a holiday honoring a private citizen would break the long-standing tradition of honoring politicians. which calls for the holiday. Six million signatures were collected, the most signatures in favor of an issue in the history of America. Many politicians continued to resist. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina led a filibuster against the bill in 1982, claiming Dr. King had ties to communists and wasn’t important enough. Others opposed the bill because it would cost too much for the federal government to implement the holiday. But the campaign continued. The King Center in Atlanta lobbied heavily, and Stevie Wonder released the single “Happy Birthday” a year later,
Finally, on Nov. 3, 1983, President Reagan signed a bill declaring the third Monday of January to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was first observed in 1986. However, several states refused to observe it. Some states preferred to call it Civil Rights Day, while others didn’t observe it at all. The National Football League threatened to move Super Bowl XXVII from Arizona if they voted down a bill to ratify MLK day. It was voted down, and the Super Bowl moved to California. Meanwhile, at the request of Coretta Scott King, President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1994 declaring MLK Day a Day of Service, rather than just remembrance. On May 2, 2000, South Carolina’s governor signed a bill declaring Dr. King’s birthday an official state holiday. Before that, government employees could choose between observing MLK Day or a confederate holiday. Utah became the last state to change Human Rights Day to Martin Luther King Jr. Day that same year.
In the spirit of the holiday, we encourage you to find some way to serve your community this MLK Day, just as Dr. King did years ago.
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