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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone, I'm Alisha.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is held on the third Monday in January every year in the United States. This holiday is dedicated to the slain civil rights leader who advocated non-violent action as a way to reform discriminatory laws in the United States.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was not accepted by all fifty states right away. It was signed into law in 1983. Do you know when all fifty states adopted it?
We’ll show you the answer at the end of this video.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federally recognized holiday, but there are celebrations in some cities and not in others.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is tied to the civil rights struggles of the twentieth century and beyond. It's very much associated with the struggles of the African-American community in particular, but it's also celebrated by most people in the US as a unifying holiday.
Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy is a complex endeavor. For most people, what he fought for and how he fought for it are equally important. King advocated for the rights of African Americans and other groups who were discriminated against via racist laws. He also advocated non-violence, and the images of riot police beating unarmed, non-violent civil rights protesters in the 1960s are largely credited with swaying public opinion.
Teaching African-American history is a major component of many Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. In fact, many of these celebrations and events try to inform people about other civil rights leaders who were instrumental in reforming exclusionary laws in the US.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is also celebrated in Hiroshima, Japan, where it is nearly as significant as it is in the US. The city of Toronto in Canada also holds festivities in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
And now here's the answer to the quiz.
Do you know when all fifty states adopted Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was not officially recognized by every state until 2000. Though President Reagan signed it into law in 1983, many states resisted the holiday or tried to term it something else, such as "Human Rights Day" in Utah.
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Until next time!