Monday, January 15, 2007

We Shall Overcome

MLK Holiday Timeline

1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated; Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., introduces legislation for federal holiday to commemorate King

1973: Illinois is first state to adopt MLK Day as a state holiday

1983: Congress passes, President Reagan signs, legislation creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

1986: Federal MLK holiday goes into effect

1987: Arizona governor Evan Mecham rescinds MLK Day as his first act in office, setting off a boycott of the state.

1989: State MLK holiday adopted in 44 states

1991: The NFL moves the 1993 Super Bowl site from Phoenix, Ariz., to Pasadena, Calif., because of the MLK Day boycott.

1992: Arizona citizens vote to enact MLK Day. The Super Bowl is held in Tempe, Ariz. in 1996.

1993: For the first time, MLK Day is held in some form—sometimes under a different name, and not always as a paid state holiday—in all fifty states.

1999: New Hampshire becomes the last state to adopt MLK Day as a paid state holiday, replacing its optional Civil Rights Day.

2000: Utah becomes the last state to recognize MLK Day by name, renaming its Human Rights Day state holiday.

2000: South Carolina becomes the last state to make MLK Day a paid holiday for all state employees. Until now, employees could choose between celebrating it or one of three Confederate-related holidays.


WTF is a "confederate-related holiday?"


Justin Evans said...


I am surprised you don't know that.

It's when old times 'there' are not forgotten.

Look away, look away, It's a hate crime!

Peter said...

J: I hope I wasn't being insensitive. But I thought the whole purpose of the confederacy (and their failed secession from the US) was to preserve slavery. Why any state want to "celebrate" such an ignominious past (and in lieu of MLK, no less) is beyond me.

Justin Evans said...


No you weren't. I am right there with you. As a history teacher, one of my many pet peeves is when people from the South try and rationalize the Civil War as a state's rights issue. That was just their name for it, for the most part. The fact that the South was caught up in an economic system (slavery) which threatened the very existence of a nation is certainly tragic, but by no stretch of the imagination should that be construed as an excuse for a public demonstration over the loss of the Confederacy.

Anonymous said...

Robert E. Lee's birthday was the state holiday in Kentucky until it was wisely replaced by MLK Day. Both holidays were recognized at the state level for a while.

I don't know what the other two CF (completely forgotten?--or, to paraphrase ADT, completely frosted-up?) holidays would be--but I'm sure REL's birthday is one of them. Another is probably Jefferson Davis' birthday.

Interesting that Kentucky didn't secede but celebrated both Lincoln and Lee...

Blogger won't let me in....Pamela

Anonymous said...

Confederate Holiday(s)

January 19 This day 1807 General Robert E. Lee was born in Stratford, Virginia.

January (3rd Monday) This day is Confederate Heroes Day.

January 21 This day in 1824 General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson was born in West Virginia.

February 22 This day in 1862 President Jefferson Davis Inaugurated President of the CSA.

March 4 Flag Day for the Confederate States of America.

April 26 Confederate Memorial Day for Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

May 10 This day in 1863 General Thomas J. Jackson died and is buried in Lexington, Virginia.
Confederate Memorial Day in North and South Carolina.

May 30th Confederate Memorial Day in Virginia.

June 3 This day in 1808 President Jefferson Davis was born in Fairview, Kentucky.
Confederate Memorial Day for Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee.

October 12 This day in 1870 General Robert E. Lee died. He is buried in Lexington Virginia.

December 6 This day in 1889 President Jefferson Davis died. President Davis is buried in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1893 he was interred in Richmond, Virginia.