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History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Published On: Jan 12 2012 01:22:53 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 14 2013 11:54:39 AM CST

Observed on the third Monday of January each year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has only recently been a holiday for all the people, all the time. Read on to learn more about the complicated history behind this special holiday.

MLK Atlanta History Center 2
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Tami Chapell/Reuters

At the time, only 27 states and Washington, D.C., honored the holiday. Most famously, all three Arizona House Republicans including former presidential candidate John McCain, voted against the bill in '83.

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