Who originated the idea of a national holiday in honor of MLK?
by Shmuel Ross and David Johnson
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday observed on the third Monday in January. In 2015, it falls on Jan. 19.
It took 15 years to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr.,holiday. Congressman John Conyers, Democrat fromMichigan, first introduced legislation for a commemorative holiday four days after King was assassinated in 1968. After the bill became stalled, petitions endorsing the holiday containing six million names were submitted to Congress.
Conyers and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, resubmitted King holiday legislation each subsequent legislative session. Public pressure for the holiday mounted during the 1982 and 1983 civil rights marches in Washington.
Congress passed the holiday legislation in 1983, which was then signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. A compromise moving the holiday from Jan. 15, King's birthday, which was considered too close to Christmas and New Year's, to the third Monday in January helped overcome opposition to the law.
National Consensus on the Holiday
A number of states resisted celebrating the holiday. Some opponents said King did not deserve his own holiday—contending that the entire civil rights movement rather than one individual, however instrumental, should be honored. Several southern states include celebrations for various Confederate generals on that day.Arizona voters approved the holiday in 1992 after a tourist boycott. In 1999, New Hampshirechanged the name of Civil Rights Day to Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
MLK Holiday Timeline
Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated; Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., introduces legislation for federal holiday to commemorate King
Illinois is first state to adopt MLK Day as a state holiday
Congress passes, President Reagan signs, legislation creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Federal MLK holiday goes into effect
Arizona governor Evan Mecham rescinds MLK Day as his first act in office, setting off a boycott of the state.
State MLK holiday adopted in 44 states
The NFL moves the 1993 Super Bowl site from Phoenix, Ariz., to Pasadena, Calif., because of the MLK Day boycott.
Arizona citizens vote to enact MLK Day. The Super Bowl is held in Tempe, Ariz. in 1996.
For the first time, MLK Day is held in some form—sometimes under a different name, and not always as a paid state holiday—in all fifty states.
New Hampshire becomes the last state to adopt MLK Day as a paid state holiday, replacing its optional Civil Rights Day.
Utah becomes the last state to recognize MLK Day by name, renaming its Human Rights Day state holiday.
South Carolina becomes the last state to make MLK Day a paid holiday for all state employees. Until now, employees could choose between celebrating it or one of three Confederate-related holidays.
Sunday, Monday: the Moon is in Taurus
This is the sign of the Moon's exaltation, its highest strength. You may want to use this time to complete something that has been dragging along (or something that you have pushed aside temporarily); the Moon's placement in Taurus means that the practical, dependable, evenly-paced energy in the astrological atmosphere now will be conducive to finishing things up in a thorough and orderly manner.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: the Moon is in Gemini
Mercury, the planet that rules or is associated with the sign Gemini, is still retrograde** (see the blurb at the bottom of this page) so it is wise to keep this in mind when it comes to any kind of communication, appointment, or information that comes your way. No, of course delays or misunderstandings, etc. will not be the end of the world; however this is a reminder that some things are simply moving a little slower than usual.
Friday, Saturday: the Moon is in Cancer
Four of the seven closer planets (Sun, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter) and three of the five main asteroids (Pallas, Juno, Chiron) are in tune with the Moon right now. This could be a somewhat busy or demanding time but will likely be a satisfying and beneficial time as well.
Current Planet Positions:
Sun - Capricorn until Jan. 21, then Aquarius
Mercury - Capricorn until Feb. 14
(**retrograde Jan. 5 - Jan. 25)
Venus - Sagittarius until Jan. 24
Mars - Scorpio until Aug. 3
(briefly in Sagittarius Mar., Apr., May)
Jupiter - Virgo until Sept. 9
Saturn - Sagittarius until Dec. 20, 2017
Uranus - Aries until Mar. 6, 2019
(Taurus - May 16, 2018-Nov. 7, 2018)
Neptune - Pisces until Mar. 30, 2025
Pluto - Capricorn until Nov. 20, 2024
Current Asteroid Positions:
Ceres - Aquarius until Jan. 29
Pallas - Capricorn until Jan. 23
Juno - Scorpio until Nov. 7
(back into Libra again June 9 - July 9)
Vesta - Aries until Mar. 9
Chiron - Pisces until Apr. 22, 2018
(Chiron usually stays in one sign for about a little over two years, very similar to Saturn's travels. However this time it is making an extended visit to a sign.)