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Washington DC Commemorates Martin Luther King Day

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a community service project at Leckie Elementary school in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and in honor of Dr. King's life and legacy on January 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Martin Luther King Day, 1983 to the present

Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on the third Monday in January, close to the civil rights activist’s birthday on Jan. 15. King was the leading spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, advocating for the victims of injustice and economic disadvantage and protesting racial discrimination. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Congress passed the legislation, President Ronald Reagan signed it into law in 1983, and it was first recognized three years later. Some states resisted the holiday, giving it alternative names, combining it with other holidays or not observing it, and it was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. (AP/Yahoo News)

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