A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, the type of job held or personal choices.
The concept of holidays often originated in connection with religious observances. The intention of a holiday was typically to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. In most modern societies, however, holidays serve as much of a recreational function as any other weekend days or activities.
Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was a famous leader of the American civil rights movement, a political activist, and a Baptist minister. In 1964, King became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1977, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter. In 1986, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a United States holiday, only the fourth Federal holiday to honor an individual. In 2004, King was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. King's most influential and well-known public address is the "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
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