This page will contain information on special celebrations.   These celebrations are normally recognized nationally.  One example would be "Black History Month".  Check back periodically to see who or what we are giving special recognition to.  Scroll down the page to learn about February being honored as "Black History Month".

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The History of Martin Luther King Day

"An individual has not started living fully until they can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity. .... Every person must decide at some point, whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.  This is the judgement.  Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?"

Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.  

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., often called Martin Luther King Day, is a United States holiday marking the birthdate of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15th.  It is the only United States federal holiday commemorating an African American and one of only four to commemorate an individual person.

It took 15 years to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.  Congressman John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, first introduced legislation for a commemorative holiday four day after King was assassinated in 1968.  After the bill became stalled, petitions endorsing the holiday containing six million names were submitted to Congress.  This strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981.  The six million signatures collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law was the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history.

Opposition to the bill was led by Senator Jesse Helms, who questioned whether King was important enough to receive such an honor.  He was also critical of King's opposition to the Vietnam War and accused King of having Communist connections.

President Ronald Reagan was also opposed to the holiday.  He relented in his opposition only after Congress passed the King Day Bill with an overwhelming, veto-proof majority.  In the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, Regan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King.  It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.  On January 16, 2000, for the first time, Martin Luther King Day was officially observed in all 50 U.S. states.  The day is marked by demonstrations for peace, social justice and racial and class equality, as well as a national day of volunteer community service.  

To learn more about Martin Luther King Jr, and hear a brief speech, click on the link below:

The King Center

Carter G.Woodson
Carter G.Woodson
February is Black History Month.  Want to learn about the origin of this special month celebrating African American History.  Just click on the link below to learn about  Carter G. Woodson, a historian who is credited with the beginning.


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