MARTIN Luther King Day is celebrated every year on the third Monday of January.
Dr. King’s birthday is on January 15 so the holiday sometimes lands that day depending on the calendar. However, the latest date the holiday can be celebrated is January 21.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929Credit: Corbis – Getty
Dr. King was a prominent civil rights activist and led statewide marches
Is Martin Luther King Day a paid holiday?
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday honoring the life and work of the civil rights activist.
All federal employees are paid for working even if they receive the day off.
The holiday honors the life and work of Dr. KingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Many private employees will also receive paid time off or special holiday pay on the holiday.
Are offices closed on Martin Luther King Day?
All non-essential federal government offices are closed.
The US Postal Service, public schools, and banks will be closed in observance of the holiday.
The US Postal Service will be closed on Martin Luther King DayCredit: AFP or licensors
However, both FedEx and UPS will be open and delivering packages as usual.
All operations will resume as normal on the following day.
When did Martin Luther King Day become a holiday?
Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law.
Yet, the holiday was first formally celebrated in 1986.
At first, some states resisted observing the holiday, but in the year 2000 all 50 states decided to honor the holiday.
Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday in 1983Credit: Getty Images – Getty
The bill also established the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission to oversee observance of the holiday.
Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, was made a member of this commission for life by President George H. W. Bush in May 1989.
Who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr?
James Earl Ray was convicted of assassinating King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.
Dr. King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968Credit: Michael Ochs Archives – Getty
In 1969, Ray was convicted after entering a guilty plea, thus forgoing a jury trial and the possibility of a death sentence.
He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
He served 29 years of his sentence until he died on April 23, 1998, at the age of 70.