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History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Published: Jan 12 2012 02:22:53 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 14 2013 12:54:39 PM EST

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 portrait 2
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Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Today, the federal holiday is celebrated nationally with many service events, often attended by leaders, celebrities and the President.

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Slideshow Of The Day

On this Day

  • Daffy Duck's debut, Porky's Duck Hunt, 1937

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    On this day: April 17

    Benjamin Franklin dies, Daffy Duck makes his debut, the Bay of Pigs invasion begins, the ill-fated Apollo 13 returns to Earth, and two Los Angeles police officers are convicted in the Rodney King beating, all on this day.