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US Observes Holiday Honoring Civil Rights Icon

US Honors Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.i
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August 26, 2013
This month, the United States is honoring the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago ((August 28, 1963)) Reverend King led the famous March on Washington and gave the “I Have a Dream” speech, a masterpiece that galvanized the nation to support equal rights for African Americans. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has this profile of King and his fight for desegregation and against racism.

US Honors Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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VOA News
Americans across the country pause Monday to observe the annual federal holiday marking the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

The holiday was created in 1983, when then-president Ronald Reagan signed a bill designating the third Monday in January to honor King, who was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The U.S. Congress designated the King holiday as a national day of service in 1994, a move aimed at encouraging Americans to take part in community projects.

King first rose to prominence in 1955, when he led a successful boycott of the public bus lines in the southern city of Montgomery, Alabama, forcing the city to end its practice of segregation of black passengers. He would go on to become the foremost public figure of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, inspiring millions with his famous "I Have a Dream" speech during the 1963 March on Washington.

He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the same year a landmark civil rights bill that ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, was signed by president Lyndon Johnson.

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he traveled to assist striking black garbage workers seeking equal pay.

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by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
January 20, 2014 7:02 PM
I did not know it was so overdue that the voting rights of blacks was eventually approved in nineteen sixties alomost one hundred years later the American civil war.


by: Abel Ogah from: Oju, Nigeria
January 20, 2014 8:29 AM
I am pround of my colour. Blacks have made more positive impact on the world scene.

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