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Celebrate this Weekend! Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, January 17th

January 14, 2022 in News

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day) is a United States federal holiday honoring the achievements of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister and civil rights leader who advocated for nonviolent resistance against racial segregation. It is also a day to reflect on the work that still needs to be done for racial equality and take action on civil rights issues across the globe.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

– Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Originally named Michael King Jr., born January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia – Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership in the civil rights movement were fundamental in the enhancement of the nation. As head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King’s organization of numerous massive nonviolent protests, such as the March on Washington, led way to his award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. From the mid 1950’s, until his tragic assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4th, 1968, King’s efforts were triumphant in eliminating legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States.

A few days after King’s untimely death, U.S. Representative John Conyers and U.S. Senator Edward Brooke proposed a bill in Congress to make King’s birthday a national holiday. Coming to a vote in 1979 in the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill fell short five votes required for passage. The King Center then looked for support from the corporate community and the general public, successfully securing popular American musician Stevie Wonder, who released the single ‘Happy Birthday’ in 1980 to popularize the campaign and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Although initially opposed by President Ronald Reagan, the holiday’s petition collected six million signatures, considered the largest petition to Congress in favor of an issue in U.S. history. Eventually, on November 2nd in 1983, Reagan signed a bill proposed by U.S. Representative Katie Hall, to create a federal holiday honoring King. The holiday was officially observed for the first time on January 20 in 1986. Following the guidelines of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act , MLK Day is celebrated every third Monday of January rather than directly on his birthday.  

This year, Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer and the Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission announced – Martin Luther King “Holiday Week” in Orlando. A week-long of commemoration events observing the contributions of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., including signing a pledge against racism and discrimination of all forms.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

“Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

– Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

For local events celebrating MLK Day, follow the links below:

Mayor Dyer & the MLK Commission 2022 Commemoration Events

45th Eatonville Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Celebration

Chasing the Dream 5K – MLK Celebration  









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