In 1983, President Ronald Reagan grudgingly signed into law the federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday only after Congress passed it with an overwhelming veto-proof majority (338 to 90 in the House of Representatives and 78 to 22 in the Senate). Reagan earlier said that he would do so because "Congress seemed bent on making it a national holiday."
For some, this is still their attitude about this holiday. That is one of the reasons many large and prominent businesses choose to ignore the holiday completely. While thousands celebrate the holiday through service and remembrance, many don’t even think about the legacy of Dr. King…some don’t even believe it should be a holiday. It doesn’t matter that there were no acres; there was no mule…just this one holiday. It doesn’t matter that not recognizing this one holiday cuts to the core of what is felt by many African Americans who find themselves employed at a businesses that do not see the significance of celebrating the life of a man who led a movement that moved blacks from the back of the bus…a man who led a movement that tackled racial injustice and forged civil rights legislation for all disenfranchised citizens.
The holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. The floating holiday is similar to other holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
Does your employer recognize the MLK Holiday? Do you recognize the MLK holiday?