1983 – The U.S. Senate approved a bill establishing a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr


When the Senate finally voted on the bill on 19 October, the packed galleries included numerous prominent proponents of the holiday, including Coretta Scott King, SCLC President Joseph E. Lowery, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Executive Director Benjamin Hooks. The holiday bill was finally approved by a vote of 78–22 (37 Republicans and 41 Democrats voted in favor; 18 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted against).

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