Nation to celebrate Martin Luther King Day

People from all over the United States will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this monday, January 21. According to, on August 2, 1983, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill creating a legal public holiday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. It stated although there had been little discussion of the bill in the House itself and little awareness among the American public that Congress was even considering such a bill, it was immediately clear that the U.S. Senate should take up the legislation soon after the Labor Day recess. A vote of 338-90 was taken in the House of Representatives for the resolution. The Reagan administration said it would not veto. Furthermore, the resolution became a holiday after President Reagan signed the bill into law on November 2 of that year. Since then, the day has been marked by remembrance and activities throughout the country. King is probably best known for his 'I Have a Dream Speech,' which he delivered in Washington D.C. in 1963. “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.” -Martin Luther King Jr. He ended the speech with "When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" According to the King Center Website, King was a vital figure of the modern era and a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. It added that his lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation around the world. In 1948, at the age of 19, King entered the Christian ministry and was ordained at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. After completing studies at Boston University In 1954, he began to serve at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Throughout his time there, he was instrumental in bringing to light the segregation problems of the country and helped with demonstrations as well. King is credited as being the leader of the American Civil Rights movement. According to the site King was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee and died on April 4, 1968. He had gone to Memphis to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions. There is nothing being planned at this time in Boonville on the holiday. Monday is also inauguration day of President Barack Obama.