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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In 1983, Pres. Ronald Reagan signed legislation establishing a federal holiday to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. It was first observed on January 20, 1986. A pastor at Montgomery's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, King rose to prominence in the civil rights movement during the events of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Birmingham Campaign of 1963, and the Selma to Montgomery march. The holiday, established to commemorate his birth on January 15, 1929, is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year.