1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 89 on Jan. 15.
“But traces of bigotry still mar America. So, each year on Martin Luther King Day, let us not only recall Dr. King, but rededicate ourselves to the commandments he believed in and sought to live every day: Thou shall love thy God with all thy heart, and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.”
– President Ronald Reagan, in a 1983 speech before he signed the bill making the birthday of King a national holiday. The holiday was first observed in 1986 and not officially observed in all 50 states until 2000.
“This is not a black holiday; it is a people’s holiday,” said King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, after Reagan signed the King Holiday bill into law Nov. 2, 1983.
The 33rd Kingdom Day Parade is Jan. 15 in Los Angeles. It starts at 10 a.m. at Western and MLK Blvd. You can learn more here.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the first on the National Mall to pay tribute to an African American and a nonpresident.
April 4, 1968: King assassinated.
1983: Law creates a federal holiday to honor King’s birthday.
1986: Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, to which King belonged, proposes memorial.
Building the dream
2000: Site dedicated with bronze marker.
Nov. 13, 2006: Groundbreaking ceremony
Oct. 16, 2011: Dedication, opening
Compared to other D.C. memorials:
Lincoln: 19 feet tall (inside a 192-foot building)
Jefferson: 19 feet tall (Under a 95.7-foot dome)
MLK: 30 feet tall
You can read more about the monument at the National Park Service site here.
On Jan. 8, President Donald Trump approved a measure creating a new national historic park for Martin Luther King Jr. during a trip to the college football national championship game in Atlanta.
The president signed the bill on Air Force One, with Alveda King, the niece of the late iconic civil rights leader, looking on.
The law created the first national historic park in Georgia. It was sponsored by Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a vocal Trump critic who recently boycotted the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum because the president spoke at the event.
“Through his life and work, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made America more just and free. This important historical park tells his story, and this bill will help ensure that the park continues to tell Dr. King’s story for generations to come.”
–-White House deputy…