Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrated

Jacob Reyna, Reporter

A lot of people view Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day off from school, work, or just another day. But to most people, it is an important day that celebrates the life and the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta Georgia. He was born to Michael King Sr. and Alberta King.  As a young boy, King witnessed his father stand up to segregation. King’s father led hundreds of African Americans in a civil rights march in Atlanta to the city hall. King later said that his father was a “real father” to him. He would later become an American Baptist, activist, and one of the most famous civil rights leaders to date. Later, he was assassinated at his motel while he was standing on the balcony

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or MLK Day, was an unofficial holiday promoted by labor unions. After King died, Senator Edward Brooke and Representative John Conyers proposed a bill to Congress to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. The bill was first voted on in the House of Representatives in 1979. The bill ended up receiving five votes less of what was needed for it to pass. Stevie Wonder actually released a single called “Happy Birthday” which helped the campaign for this holiday to become more popular and supported. Later on President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law to create a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The bill was also later passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The holiday is now held on the third Monday of January.

The life, legacy, and service of Martin Luther King Jr. is important to our nation’s history. To many people, King is a symbol of inspiration.  He’s a symbol of hope for others. He is proof that we can realize our dreams. He has taught us to stand up for injustice, even if it seems the whole world is against you. King will forever live on in history, and in the hearts of millions of people.