Date
Day
Holiday
State
2014
20 JanuaryMondayMartin Luther King Jr. BirthdayNational except AL AZ AR MS NH
20 JanuaryMondayRobert E. Lee /
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
AL AR MS
20 JanuaryMondayMartin Luther King Jr. Birthday /
Civil Rights Day
AZ NH

The Martin Luther King, Jr holiday is held to observe the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

King was a key figure in the civil rights’ movement and was an advocate of using nonviolent means to protest discrimination. Martin Luther King, Jr was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 as a result of his dedication to fighting for civil rights without resorting to violence.

King was assassinated in 1968 and many civil rights’ activists petitioned for a holiday to be declared in honor of the civil rights’ leader. President Ronald Reagan declared a holiday in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr and the first Martin Luther King, Jr holiday was observed on 20 January 1986.

Because Martin Luther King, Jr Day is a federal holiday, all non-essential federal employees are given the day off. Most schools are not in session and there is no mail service on the holiday.

The purpose of the public holiday is to remember the struggles that people have had to overcome to obtain civil rights. As the holiday approaches, many schools dedicate class sessions to teaching students about the importance of preventing racism and other forms of prejudice.

In recent years, the holiday observing the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr has become an opportunity for Americans to dedicate their day off to providing volunteer services to charitable organizations that are aimed at ending prejudice and helping people who feel they have been discriminated against.

Martin Luther King, Jr’s actual birthday was on 15 January 1929. The observation of the holiday celebrating his life and recognizing his accomplishments in the civil rights’ movement is designed to fall near his birthday, and Martin Luther King, Jr Day has been held on the third Monday in January since 1992.

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