STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Fast Facts

Here's a look at Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday that ...

Posted: Jan 19, 2018 11:51 AM
Updated: Jan 19, 2018 11:51 AM

Here's a look at Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday that falls on the third Monday in January.

Facts: January 21, 2019 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

King's actual birthday was on January 15.

Timeline:
April 8, 1968
- Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduces legislation for a federal holiday to commemorate King, just four days after his assassination.

January 15, 1969 - The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center in Atlanta sponsors and observes the first annual celebration of King's birthday.

April 1971 - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) presents to Congress petitions containing three million signatures in support of the holiday. Congress does not act.

1973 - Illinois is the first state to adopt Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a state holiday.

November 4, 1978 - The National Council of Churches urges Congress to enact the holiday.

1979 - Coretta Scott King speaks before Congress and joint hearings of Congress in a campaign to pass a holiday bill. A petition for the bill receives 300,000 signatures, and President Jimmy Carter supports passage of a bill.

November 1979 - The House fails to pass Conyers' King Holiday bill by five votes.

1982 - Coretta Scott King and Stevie Wonder bring the speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill, petitions with over six million signatures in favor of a holiday.

1983 - Congress passes and President Ronald Reagan signs legislation creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday. Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) attempt to block the bill's passing.

January 20, 1986 - First national celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday takes place.

January 16, 1989 - The King holiday is legal in 44 states.

1994 - Coretta Scott King goes before Congress and quotes King from his 1968 sermon, "The Drum Major Instinct," in which he said, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." She requests that the holiday be an official national day of humanitarian service.

1994 - Congress designates the holiday as a national day of service through the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday and Service Act.

1999 - New Hampshire becomes the last state to adopt a holiday honoring King.

January 17, 2011 - Marks the 25th anniversary of the holiday.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 620199

Reported Deaths: 34443
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens878187349
Kings866287495
Bronx623785027
Nassau585672248
Suffolk585622045
Westchester484411510
New York437473224
Erie23071779
Richmond219511122
Rockland21111692
Orange16405517
Monroe13817313
Onondaga10024222
Dutchess6930186
Albany5426148
Broome5143138
Oneida4515147
Niagara3445105
Ulster318098
Chemung287234
Putnam261564
Schenectady228356
Sullivan213748
Saratoga208919
Steuben167887
Rensselaer162551
Chautauqua148016
Oswego14056
Ontario120237
Tioga108048
Wayne105212
Tompkins10000
Cattaraugus99726
Columbia98856
Cortland9572
Allegany93052
Genesee8909
Madison87818
Cayuga7948
St. Lawrence7439
Greene66118
Livingston6559
Herkimer63112
Chenango60510
Orleans59856
Otsego5878
Warren56935
Wyoming4995
Jefferson4873
Fulton47828
Montgomery46016
Clinton4435
Washington43914
Lewis3379
Delaware3369
Schuyler2893
Essex27514
Seneca2695
Franklin2557
Yates2477
Schoharie1832
Hamilton421
Out of NY0120
Unassigned024
Utica
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 44°
Oneonta
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Herkimer
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 44°
Thendara
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 44°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve