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Here's to the Celebration of MLK Day -- this Monday !!!

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  • multiracialbookclub
    MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY (a.k.a. Human-Rights Day and / or Civil-Rights Day )
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 13, 2012



      Human-Rights Day' 

                       and / or 

              'Civil-Rights Day'


      The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. --  often 
      called Martin Luther King Day -- is a United 
      States federal holiday marking the birth date of the 
      Reverend Dr. 
      Martin Luther King, Jr., observed 
      on the third Monday of January each year (which 
      is  around the time of King's birthday, January 15) 

      It is the only 
      federal holiday in the United 
      States that commemorates a person of the 
      African-American Ethnic group -- and one of 
      only four to commemorate an individual person.

      Martin Luther King Day was founded as a holiday 
      promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations.  

      After King's death in 1968, Rep. 
      John Conyers 
      introduced a bill in Congress to make King's 
      birthday a national holiday, highlighting 
      King's activism on behalf of trade unionists. 

      Unions did most of the promotion for 
      the holiday throughout the 1970s. 

      In 1976, trade unionists also helped to elect 
      Jimmy Carter, who endorsed the King Day bill. 

      After that endorsement, the union influence 
      in the King holiday campaign declined, and 
      King Center turned to support from the 
      corporate community and the general public. 

      The success of this strategy was cemented when 
      Stevie Wonder released the single 
      "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign 
      in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press 
      Conference in 1981. 6 million signatures were 
      collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, 
      termed by a 2006 The Nation article as 
      largest petition in favor of an issue in US history."


      Opposition to the bill was led by Senator Jesse 
      Helms, who questioned whether King was 
      "important enough" to receive such an honor. 

      President Ronald Reagan was 
      also opposed to the holiday. 

      He relented in his opposition only after Congress 
      passed the King Day Bill with an overwhelming, 
      veto-proof majority (338 to 90 in the House of 
      Representatives and 78 to 22 in the Senate).

      At the White House Rose Garden on 
      November 2, 1983, Reagan signed a bill 
      creating a federal holiday to honor King.

      It was observed for the first 
      time on January 20, 1986.

      On January 17, 2000, for the first time, 
      Martin Luther King Day was officially 
      observed in all 50  U.S.  states. 

      The day is marked by demonstrations 
      peace, social justice and racial and 
      class equality
      , and is also 
      a national 
      day of volunteer community service


      On January 16, 2006  Greenville County , 
      South Carolina  [is said to have been] the 
      last county in the  U.S.  to officially adopt 
      Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday.

      In Utah, Martin Luther King Day is also 
      known as Human Rights Day; similarly, in 
      Arizona and New Hampshire, Martin Luther 
      King Day is also known as Civil Rights Day.

      Although the day is both a federal holiday and, 
      thus also a state holiday in all states, it is usually 
      not observed by very small private companies 
      (except for banks) -- and small shops, grocery 
      stores and restaurants do tend to remain open.

      Some large corporations close their operations -- 
      more so than on Veterans Day or Columbus Day
      (which are also federal holidays) but less so than 
      on holidays such as Memorial Day or Labor Day 
      when virtually all of the corporations are closed.
      Additionally, some schools and places of 
      higher education are closed for classes; 
      others remain open but may hold seminars 
      or celebrations of Dr. King's message.




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