Timeline: Creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

See a timeline of events that led to the MLK holiday.


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1929 - Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 15, in Atlanta. King's name was mistakenly recorded as "Michael King" on his birth certificate; this was not discovered until 1934, when his father applied for a passport. (Getty Images)

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1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated; Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduces legislation for a federal holiday to commemorate King. (Getty Images)

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1973 - Illinois is the first state to adopt MLK Day as a state holiday. (Getty Images)

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1983 - Congress passes and President Reagan signs legislation creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (Getty Images)

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1986 - The federal MLK holiday goes into effect. (Getty Images)

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1987 - Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham rescinds MLK Day as his first act in office, setting off a boycott of the state. (Getty Images)

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1989 - State MLK holiday is adopted in 44 states. It was during that year that President George H. Bush signed the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday extension bill at the White House.(Getty Images)

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1991 - The NFL moves the 1993 Super Bowl site from Phoenix to Pasadena, Calif., because of the MLK Day boycott. The photo shows Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin celebrating after a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 31, in Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl. In 1992, Arizona citizens voted to enact MLK Day. The Super Bowl is held in Tempe, Ariz., in 1996.(Getty Images)


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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 50 states. (Getty Images)

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1999 - New Hampshire adopts MLK Day as a paid state holiday, replacing its optional Civil Rights Day. (Getty Images)

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2000 - Utah becomes the last state to recognize MLK Day by name, renaming its Human Rights Day state holiday. (Getty Images)

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