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History of Day Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Today the nation honors the late Martin Luther King, Junior.

President Obama is encouraging Americans to observe the federal holiday by taking part in a service project. Government offices and the U.S. stock market are closed today.

King’s actual birthday is January 15th, but the holiday falls on the 3rd Monday in January.

The civil rights icon was killed in 1968.

President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983. The first national MLK holiday was observed three years later, in 1986.

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