Monday, January 17, 2011
Happy King Day! 25th Anniversary
But he did so grudgingly. Reagan opposed the holiday,as did the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina), Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-South Carolina) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Reagan hid behind the cost excuse as a reason not to do it, while others cited honoring a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition.
Yeah, right. How many private citizens who never held public office affect public policy in such a profound way, earn Nobel Peace Prizes for doing so and become an international symbol of peaceful change?
attacking Dr. King on the Senate floor, and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) slamming him for it..
The bill's passage by a veto proof 338 to 90 margin in the House of Representatives and a 78 to 22 margin in the Senate resulted in Reagan signing the bill into law on November 2, 1983.
Stevie Wonder's famous 1980 song Happy Birthday was released on his Hotter Than July album to support the campaign that sprung up after the bill to create the holiday failed by five votes in 1979 to pass in the House.
The bill introduced by Rep. Katie Hall (D-IN) in the House established the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission to oversee observance of the holiday. President George HW Bush made Coretta Scott King a member for life of the commission in May 1989.
The federal holiday is observed on the third Monday of January and was celebrated for the first time as a federal holiday in 1986 and in all 50 states in 2000
Happy King Day, people!