Martin Luther King Day

Why we always get that one Monday off in January

Carl Harding

On Monday 17th, 2022, there will be no school for CHS as well as the DSC schools due to it being Martin Luther King Day. Martin Luther King Jr is the most known spokesperson and leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. King led marches, held boycotts, and nonviolent protests to end segregation in the southern United States and help give civil and economic rights to African Americans. During the famous March on Washington in 1963, King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech where he called for an end to racism and to desegregate the South. His actions led the United States Supreme Court to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which finally put an end to segregation in the southern United States and prohibited racial discrimination in schools, workplaces, and public facilities. After this, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December of 1964 and continued to lead the Civil Rights Movement up until his death. On April 4th, 1968 while planning a march for black sanitary workers, King was shot by James Earl Ray in Memphis, TN.  

After King’s death, U.S representative John Conyers and U.S Senator Edward Brooke tried to get Congress to agree on a bill that would make King’s birthday a national holiday in 1979. The bill failed to pass Congress but in 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law that was proposed by Representative Kate Hall of Indiana. With all that Martin Luther King has done, people wonder why we have this day off and wonder why it is an important holiday. The point of MLK Day is to honor King’s legacy and other Civil Rights leaders who made sacrifices to end segregation and racism in the United States. This day also serves for Americans to come together to help improve their communities because of how much King helped out other people. MLK Day is the perfect opportunity to take a look around town and see what can be done to help improve the community and the lives of others.