Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Lucy Mitchell, Reporter

On the third Monday of January, the renowned, nonviolent activist Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated for his contributions to the civil rights movement. It is hard to imagine a time without the holiday, having been a part of many lives since its introduction as a federal holiday. However, the holiday was not created without opposition from various parties. After MLK’s assassination, a large campaign began to officially make it a federal holiday, with unions demanding a day off in their contracts, petitions signed by millions of people, and even a song by Stevie Wonder to promote the holiday. A smaller group of people opposed a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr., with arguments ranging from cost concerns to not wanting honor a “communist.” Despite this opposition, with such examples as a dramatic declaration from a New York Senator that the bill establishing the holiday was a “packet of filth,” the bill was still passed into law and signed by President Ronald Reagan.

No matter the history of the day, there is one very important element about it that all citizens should remember: Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national service day, meaning it is less of a day off and more of “a day on”. Whether or not you have the school day off, you are still expected to help out in your community, as MLK himself would’ve wanted.