- The United States celebrates as official national holidays only three individual persons—Jesus Christ, Christopher Columbus, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The legislation making King’s birthday an official federal holiday was signed by Ronald Reagan, who had opposed virtually everything King stood for—making it evident that the civil rights revolution is fully incorporated into the American tradition and culture
- In 1980 Steve Wonder debuted his “Happy Birthday” as tribute to Dr. King at a mass rally on the Washington mall
- He was chosen Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1964, the first African American so honored by that publication
How do these facts help your students think critically about our nation’s values and foundation? Find out more about the leaders who helped shape our country with History Research Center.
Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial.