Martin Luther King, Jr.
Day was signed into law
by former president Ronald Reagan
2, 1983, fifteen years after Dr. King's assassination
. The holiday is celebrated in the United States
every year on the third Monday
. On this day, federal
, post offices, and most schools close in his honor
. The first national
celebration of this holiday was held on January
20, 1986. Each year it has a different theme
, promoting the equality
and non-discrimination ideal
s that were at the heart of Dr. King's cause.
The bill proposed to make a holiday in Dr. King's honor wasn't supported by everyone, though. It did pass the House of Representatives by a vote of 338 to 90. Then went on to the Senate where it also passed. Although, one senator from Georgia opposed the bill and said that Dr. King was a communist.