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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

United States holiday
Ronald Reagan and Coretta Scott King at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day signing ceremony.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal Holiday. It commemorates civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It is celebrated on the third Monday in January and is one of only four United States Federal holidays to honor an individual person.[1]

President Ronald Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Representative Katie Hall of Indiana, to create a federal holiday honoring King.[2] The holiday was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. It is observed on the third Monday of January.[3]


  1. The other three federal holidays honoring individuals are Washington's Birthday (which is usually called called President's Day), Columbus Day, and Christmas. Most people working in banks and other government owned places get the day off. Many students get a day off from school on this day. See 5 USC 6103.
  2. Woolley, John T.; Gerhard Peters (November 2, 1983). "Ronald Reagan: Remarks on Signing the Bill Making the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a National Holiday". The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on January 17, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  3. May, Ashley (January 18, 2019). "What is open and closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day?". USA Today. Retrieved January 20, 2019.