Good Question: How Did MLK Jr.’s Birthday Become A Nat’l Holiday?

WCCO | CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The third Monday of every January is one of ten national holidays that government employees get every year. Most children have no school and every state and federal employee receives a paid day off.

The first official observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday was on Jan. 20, 1986 – 18 years after the Civil Rights leader was shot.

But David Chang, a professor of U.S. history at the University of Minnesota, says the idea for the holiday came just four days after the assassination.

“Now, we take it for granted that it’s a holiday … but just like the Civil Rights Movement, it took a lot of work and many years of struggle in order to make this happen,” Chang said.

According to the King Center, U.S. Representative John Conyers first introduced legislation for a Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday…

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