This weekend, we remember Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Nov. 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill marking the third Monday of every January, as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The holiday was officially observed starting in 1986.
According to the National Archives, “Martin Luther King, Jr. became the predominant leader in the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination in America during the 1950s and 1960s and a leading spokesperson for nonviolent methods of achieving social change. His eloquence as a speaker and his personal charisma, combined with a deeply rooted determination to establish equality among all races despite personal risk won him a world-wide following. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1964 and was selected by Time magazine as its Man of the Year. His “I Have a Dream” speech, which is now considered to be among the great speeches of American history, is frequently quoted. His success in galvanizing the drive for civil rights, however, made him the target of conservative segregationists who believed firmly in the superiority of the white race and feared social change. He was arrested over 20 times and his home was bombed. Ultimately, he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of a motel where he was staying in Memphis. A monument to Dr. King was unveiled in the national capital in 2012.”