Today is the official holiday honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.
The civil rights icon was born on January 15, 1929. The federal law creating the holiday in King’s honor was passed in 1983, after years of organizing by supporters.
Not everyone embraced it; North Carolina’s Jesse Helms and New Hampshire’s Gordon Humphrey both attempted to block the law.
The day was observed in the United States for the first time in 1986. MLK Day was designated as a National Day of Service by Congress in 1994.