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How long have we been celebrating MLK day?

Today, Monday, we are honoring and celebrating the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Former President Ronald Reagan was the one who signed a bill at the White House Rose Garden back in November of 1983, creating this federal holiday. My gosh, this special holiday will be 20 years old come next year at this time. Although Reagan signed the bill in 1983, Martin Luther King, Jr. day was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. I’m not sure why it took three years. It was President George H. W Bush who issued a proclamation in 1992 proclaiming that this holiday be observed on the third Monday of January each year, near the time of Doctor King’s birthday. It wasn’t until January 17th of the year 2000, that Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially observed in all 50 U. S. States. The last three states to come on board were: Arizona in 1992, New Hampshire in 1999 and Utah in 2000. Volumes of material have been written on the late Dr. King alone, not to mention the Civil Rights movement. In my opinion, the Dr. King, like many of us, had “clay feet” at times, but overall, the man did a tremendous amount of good in his lifetime and when we look around the world today, there is certainly something to be said for following the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi and using nonviolent methods for the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world. If you have an opportunity, check out his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address or his “I Have a Dream” speech. In some ways our country has come very far, in other ways, it has taken a long time to get where we are today. I wonder who Dr. King would think, were he alive today.

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