The Timeline of the holiday of Martin
Luther King, Jr. Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated; Rep. John Conyers,
D-Mich., introduces legislation for federal holiday to commemorate King.
Illinois is first state to adopt MLK Day as a state holiday.
Congress passes, President Reagan signs, legislation creating
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Federal MLK holiday goes into effect.
Arizona governor Evan Mecham rescinds MLK Day as his first
act in office, setting off a boycott of the state.
State MLK holiday adopted in 44 states.
The NFL moves the 1993 Super Bowl site from Phoenix, Ariz.,
to Pasadena, Calif., because of the MLK Day boycott.
Arizona citizens vote to enact MLK Day. The Super Bowl
is held in Tempe, Ariz. in 1996.
For the first time, MLK Day is held in some form—sometimes
under a different name, and not always as a paid state holiday—in all
New Hampshire becomes the last state to adopt MLK Day
as a paid state holiday, replacing its optional Civil Rights Day.
Utah becomes the last state to recognize MLK Day by name,
renaming its Human Rights Day state holiday.
South Carolina becomes the last state
to make MLK Day a paid holiday for all state employees. Until now, employees
could choose between celebrating it or one of three Confederate-related holidays.