Throughout the United States, people celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Written by NATALIE JIN / Published February 1, 2013
Every year around the end of January, schools, banks, and government-operated facilities shut their doors in honor of the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, with the passing of time, the once nationally reverend holiday has become merely an excuse to celebrate a long weekend. Let us take a moment to remember what this holiday is actually about.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, celebrated on the 3rd Monday of every January, was originated as a proposition by trade unions. Following King’s death, a bill was introduced into Congress to create a national holiday under the name of Martin Luther King Jr., but fell short of the approval margin by a mere five votes.
The King Center began trying to spread the word about King, and his great deeds, alongside Stevie Wonder. By 1981, they received an overwhelming six million signatures for a petition to pass the bill, which was later approved and signed in 1983, by President Ronald Reagan.
King was one of the most important leaders in the Civil Rights Era, where discrimination was found left and right of African-Americans in America. His speeches captured the averaged citizen at the time, preaching about equality through unity and peace while his actions in leading a peaceful revolt brought him to earning a Nobel Peace Prize. Thanks to King, America is now in an equal environment for people of all races, colors, and backgrounds.
As for schools that do not get the day off, kids often learn about the Civil Rights Movement and segregation following the Civil War.
Many workers also take the day to volunteer and community foundations to promote a better community. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is also celebrated in varies locations in Japan and Canada, where people cherish King’s words of peace and equality.
Let us, in the spirit of America’s renowned doctrine of peace, equality and unity, take a moment to let Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wise words seep into our acknowledgement once more.