Martin Luther King was born on January 15th.
After his assassination Michigan congressman John Conyers and Senator Edward Brooke introduced a bill to make King's birthday a national holiday. Congress failed to pass the bill with opponents stating another federal holiday was too expensive and honoring a private citizen would set a bad precedent. This opposition was led by Jesse Helms, who had accused King of being a Marxist, however The King Center organized support for the bill and President Reagan signed it on November 2, 1983 with Coretta King in attendance.
Arizona resisted the holiday with Sen. John McCain finally yielding to pressure, however the state fought off King Day with 76% of voters in a referendum rejecting the holiday. The NFL cancelled the Super Bowl scheduled for Phoenix and when the state was faced with similar boycotts Arizona passing a holiday honoring the Civil rights leader.
New Hampshire fell next and finally South Carolina, which had offered public employees the choice of taking off Martin Luther King Day or three days honoring the Confederacy.
Most businesses are closed in New York, but not 47th Street.
The Diamond District was ready for business, because the greatest right on the street was 'nimmt geld' or take money.
Me, I'm writing at home.
Drinking tea and having toast.
It's my way of honoring a great man.
Martin Luther King JR.