Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States holiday marking the birthdate of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15. It is one of four United States federal holidays to commemorate an individual person.
King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He was assassinated in 1968.
The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.
One place where this day is observed as important is in the Japanese city of Hiroshima under mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who holds a special banquet at the mayor's office as an act of unifying his city's call for peace with King's message of human rights. (From: Wikipedia, license: CCA-SA)