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What Does MLK Jr. Day Mean to You?

Share your feelings about the holiday with Coventry Patch

 

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to the community, be it through removing grafiti or picking up litter in a local park. For others, it’s an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work or just kick back and enjoy the three-day weekend.

Many people are unaware that the holiday took 15 years to create.

Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.

The bill was stalled, but Coyers, along with Rep. Shirley Crisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington.

Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day.

Now, the corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.

So tell us in the comments—What does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy?

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