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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States that celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential civil rights leader. The holiday is observed on the third Monday in January each year, which is around the time of King’s birthday, January 15th. It is a day to honor King’s legacy and the progress made in the civil rights movement.

Efforts to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday began soon after his assassination on April 4, 1968. The campaign gained momentum over the years, with supporters highlighting King’s significant contributions to the advancement of civil rights. Finally, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law, designating the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The holiday was first observed on January 20, 1986.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not only a day off from work or school for many Americans, but it is also a time for reflection, education, and community service. It serves as an opportunity to honor King’s commitment to equality, justice, and nonviolence. Many organizations and communities hold events, such as parades, lectures, and volunteer activities, to commemorate the day.


January 15