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Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observed

Video of famous 'I Have a Dream' speech reminds millions why Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 is a federal holiday.

Rev. Martin Luther King, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right, speaking at a rally in Crawfordville, Georgia]." United Press International telephoto,1965 Oct 11. Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
Rev. Martin Luther King, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right, speaking at a rally in Crawfordville, Georgia]." United Press International telephoto,1965 Oct 11. Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
Today we honor the remarkable life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of fighting for racial equality, human rights and economic justice.

Dr. King believed deeply that people of every race, religion and creed should share in the American dream.

His courageous leadership on civil rights included a passionate advocacy on behalf of the poor.

His delivery of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, is considered one of the most moving and poignant events of the last century.

The words have inspired millions across the world since the day they were spoken on Aug. 28, 1963.

"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!' "

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, now a U.S. 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 Conyers, 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.


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Larry Arzie January 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Time to reflect on what was and what has been accomplished. Not as much as we would hope. We have a long way to go.
Marilyn Leonard January 20, 2014 at 04:02 PM
We do still have a long way to go, but great strides have been made in past half century. This day is a great reminder of how we need to continue to move forward.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz January 20, 2014 at 06:40 PM
Absolutely! We Must Press On! 🇺🇸

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