Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The third Monday of January is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in America.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) was a civil rights leader in the USA
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day pays respect to his efforts for equality in society. It is an official holiday, meaning people get the day off work
  • It has been celebrated since 1986 (although only in every state since 2000)
  • King was born on January 15th, 1929. However, putting holidays on Monday is popular because it becomes a 3-day weekend
  • Only 3 people have holidays named after them in America: George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and MLK
  • Some people disagreed with the idea of having a holiday for King. Some said it was too expensive; some that only government people should have a day; some didn’t agree with King’s politics
  • Stevie Wonder’s song ‘Happy Birthday’ was written to encourage people to support the holiday
  • The Super Bowl, America’s biggest sporting event, cancelled plans to have the game in Arizona in 1993 because Arizona did not support the holiday