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Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday hosted on the third Monday of January. The day celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. who was an influential American civil rights leader. King fought to end racial segregation on public transport and racial equality in the U.S. 

I simply love it when our children learn from the past. The other day my Princess started a conversation about Martin Luther King. She wanted to know if I knew that there used to be laws against little black boys and girls from riding the school bus with little white boys and girls. I said yes that it was not when I was a little girl but her great grand-ma remembers that rather well. That opened the door and we talked about why it was not right as well as what we should do. The truth is if we learn from our past we are less likely to repeat it

Martin Luther King was an important civil rights activist  He was not the only one but many individuals remember he because of his movements to end racial segregation in the U.S. and his "I Have a Dream" speech. He advocated for non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1968 King was assassinated. 

In the same year as his death a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. Trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. The day was endorsed in 1976. Stevie Wonder and his hit "Happy Birthday" as well as a signature with 6 million signatures helped bring the bill to a law in 1983. The day was first observed in 1986. 

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