Talk:Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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Broken source link[edit]

Source 31 is linked as I found the page is now at Can someone with edit access fix it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 19 January 2015 (UTC)


Both Washington's and Lincoln's birthday were formerly celebrated individually in many states. When MLK Day was added, they were combined into one holiday, called President's Day by most altho it's not so formally as the bill never passed, and Lincoln's was not observed by the Federal govt. This is made clear here's_Birthday. Therefore it is somewhat inaccurate to say that only Columbus and Washington are recognized and so I removed the sentence, even tho it is certainly true that many were opposed to the honor on these grounds, if not on others. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Family opposition[edit]

In the first graf of the controversy section: 'Likewise, King's family expressed opposition to the measure.[citation needed]' should read ' the filibuster.' It appears to be a simple word choice error. (talk) 19:16, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't know about that. I have a feeling somebody was trying to make Reagan look not-quite-so-bad by saying "even the King family opposed the holiday". The whole unsourced bit should probably be removed. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 19:21, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Reader feedback: Please add the names of stat...[edit] posted this comment on January 16, 2013 (view all feedback).

Please add the names of states of US, those have declared this day as federal Holiday, as not all states have declared it Holiday...

Any thoughts?

Bob (talk) 15:20, 21 January 2014 (UTC) Actually all states do observe it now.

Bob (talk) 15:20, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

End of Arizona Story[edit]

So I came to this article to find out the history and current status of MLK holiday in Arizona. Outside from a small mention of the name of the MLK holiday in a separate section there is no mention of the current status of the holiday and it almost makes it sound that Arizona still has no MLK holiday. I had to go to a linked article which said this to find the rest of the story:

Voters approved a state King holiday in November 1992, making Arizona the only state that put it to a vote of the people and saw it pass. "It was historic and it was phenomenal," Stewart said.

At best the article is confusing on this point, at worst, misleading. I know the section is entitled "Reluctance to Observe", but surly a simple sentence is acceptable? -- (talk) 16:32, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Possible Main Page Featured Article for next Martin Luther King Day[edit]

I know it's a long way in advance, but I thought I'd note that I've nominated The Negro Motorist Green Book for consideration as a Featured Article candidate with the aim of having it on the Main Page on the next Martin Luther King Day. If you would like to comment, please see Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/The Negro Motorist Green Book/archive2. Prioryman (talk) 12:27, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 22 April 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved. More supports than opposes (6:2 I think), and the proposed name is preferred by WP:JR. Opposers argue that some official sources include the comma, but we are not obligated to use the official name, we prefer the common name. The argument that this article should match the person's article were also refuted, with a claim that the other article is also wrong, and WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. All in all a consensus to move.  — Amakuru (talk) 17:51, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Martin Luther King, Jr. DayMartin Luther King Jr. Day – The unmatched comma makes no sense, and is not from any official source. Most books omit the comma, and some use two commas, and very few do like we do here. Per WP:JR, let's drop the odd mismatched comma. Dicklyon (talk) 04:36, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

  • Support as nom. See books. Dicklyon (talk) 04:36, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose, it's the name of a U.S. national holiday (List of official U.S. national holidays, Ronald Reagan's MLK Day signing ceremony, George Bush's comments on the Commission, academic history of the holiday) and the name of an international icon. Let's alert a few Wikipedia projects and the people who edit the main King article. Reminder that a recent close on the use of commas in names recommends grandfathering in commas, and Dr. King was used in the discussion as being the main example of keeping the comma, which is literally set in stone at the King Memorial and his gravesite (and set in paper on all of his books). Randy Kryn 10:28, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    The article and your source and others all agree that the official name is "Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.". When used in a sentence or headline, as in your linked source, a matching comma follows Jr. When converted to "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" with Jr. in the middle, sources have to pick 0, 1, or 2 commas, and relatively few pick 1 because that's grammatically incorrect. Most pick 0. Our style in WP:JR says we prefer 0. What reason is there to do otherwise? Dicklyon (talk) 14:58, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Randy, I don't think it's a question of how to punctuate King's name. It's a matter of balance -- as WP:JR says, if Jr. is preceded by a comma, it should also be followed by one. I don't care whether we use the commas but if we do, I think the article should be moved to a name with an even number of commas. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 11:37, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    Since this is a proper name the following comma would not be needed. The following comma is only a guideline, and some sources use it and others don't. In this case the following comma would be unusual, and a stretch of the guideline. Randy Kryn 14:33, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    I don't think we have any evidence of such a rule; where are you getting it? The book usage shows only about 10 or 20% using the odd unbalanced comma (I grant you it's more frequent on the web, but that's generally not as carefully edited as books are). Dicklyon (talk) 14:36, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    This is a proper name, federally passed and funded. And the use isn't odd or unbalanced, it's been a standard use of Jr. names, probably since they began. What is the ping rule on something like this, or is it just going to be the regular people going round and round with an inexperienced closer counting "votes"? Randy Kryn 14:50, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    That's false. The "federally passed and funded" name is ""Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr." Dicklyon (talk) 14:58, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Support – The present title is not the official name of the holiday, contrary to Mr Kryn's comments, as demonstrated by Mr Lyon above. At present, the title contains a mismatched comma (considered an error by all style guides) that doesn't align with MOS:JR's guidance. The easiest solution is to drop the comma, which also happens to be the style preferred by MOS:JR. This form is also very common in RS, as further demonstrated by Mr Lyon. There is really no reason not to move this article. Emotion, as suggested by Mr Kryn, shouldn't be brought into it. RGloucester 15:53, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment, then let's change the name of the page to it's official name, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Either way, the day is a holiday and the comma is included. As long as an official name exists, it probably should be the encyclopedic name. Randy Kryn 17:28, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't have anything against Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., except that it is not the common name, and common names are preferred per WP:UCN. Not to mention WP:CONCISE, which suggests dropping the "of". Therefore, we should move this article as proposed above. RGloucester 17:32, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Yet either way, the comma should be included, as it's in both the official name and common name. Changing each and every Jr. comma on Wikipedia runs counter to both the ever-present but seldom used "exceptions" clause in guidelines and the concept of grandfathering in names as expressed by the closer of the longer discussion. Dr. King's pages here seem to be a burr in the side of those who want to change commas, and if it is changed here then editors can point to this and say "See, the name is commaless". I'd suggest we leave all of Dr. King's pages alone and let the name he used throughout his life, and the name used in official laws such as this and for his D.C. memorial, stand. Randy Kryn 17:47, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Mr Lyon's research above shows that omission of the comma is more common in RS, and, regardless, unless there is very clear and consistent usage of the comma in RS, the commaless form should be used. RGloucester 18:00, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Books which include the name "Martin Luther King Jr. - searched without the comma" seem to use the comma overwhelmingly. So to change King's name here by using "books", which brings up lots of children's and seemingly less-substantial books, is quite selective. If we are going to keep the comma in King's name on his main article it would be internally inconsistent for Wikipedia to change it here, violating WP:CONSISTENCY. Randy Kryn 18:18, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    We're only talking about the day here. Zero commas (like the book about the day in your book search link), or two (like in four of the other books there, not about the day)? None of them provide examples of the unbalanced comma usage that we have in the current title. Dicklyon (talk) 22:21, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment – I just noticed that the name is official in California as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no comma. This goes back to 1975. Dicklyon (talk) 15:42, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
    Also no comma in Wyoming and in New Jersey and North Carolina and Connecticut and Michigan and Delaware and Indiana.
    On the other hand, Hawaii and Maine and Georgia and Texas and Missouri use the unbalanced one-comma version.
    Just going through Google search hits in the order they come up. I'm sure there are lots more. The point is, many states (probably a majority) see no impediment to using normal modern comma-free style. Dicklyon (talk) 16:02, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
    Please think about not using the terms you do for the period as not a full stop but as part of the sentence, there used to be no need for the comma after Jr. because it is a given in the context of the sentence. It was and is a common way of using the period and comma combination. As for King, it's the man's name, comma included, and there is literally no reason to change it here if WP:CONSISTENCY has any meaning whatsoever. Please either do a new universal RM to all of the King articles at once, which I think is your ultimate goal anyway, and do it at Dr. King's page where it would be seen by page watchers of the main page who do not page-watch the outskirts, or reconsider this page and let one person in the history of the human race retain the name exactly as he used it, how he became known, and recognized by his nation. The Federal documents and listings of this nationally official holiday use the comma, which created its official and common name. Randy Kryn 18:47, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
    Randy, if this is such disrespect to not put a comma in the name of the day honoring MLK Jr, why do so many magazines do it? Book search shows Ebony, Jet, The New Crisis, New York Magazine, and Scouting, almost always use no comma. No magazine uses the comma (of the ones in Google Book Search, that is). Ebony and Jet never used the comma for MLK Jr. when he was alive, either. This is just an editorial style and grammar issue, nothing deeper. Dicklyon (talk) 22:33, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
    Yes, but the issue is consistency. If King's name has the comma on other pages then changing just this one breaks that. Since the federal official name contains the comma, and it was King's preferred rendition of his name, there is no disorder in keeping it here. Randy Kryn 17:32, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
    With all due respect, Randy, the government name is irrelevant. See WP:Official names. We're not using the government name for the article's title, but even if we were, the government name has only one comma because it ends with a period: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. In other words, the government name has no bearing on this discussion. Pardon my horrible analogy, but you might as well look at the last word in a sentence to learn whether writers in English capitalize the first word of sentences. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 20:55, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
    Randy, I just left a neutral notice about this discussion at Talk:Martin Luther King, Jr. I'll copy and paste it to the talk pages of all the WikiProjects to which this article or that article belong. Okay? (This discussion is also listed at WP:Requested moves/Current discussions, and I think LegoBot invites editors to comment on the requested moves in that queue.) — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 02:58, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
    Thanks Malik and Dicklyon. Notifying projects of probably controversial requested moves should, I would think, be the norm. Very few editors participate in RM's in general (meaning that they don't look at the RM list), but when things like manifest destiny and Montgomery bus boycott are put up on RM based on ancient (2000 or 2008) n-grams, a few people participate, and then the move request are "read" and closed within literally one, two, or five minutes, the system, although not quite broken, needs to lose a few pounds. Notifying anyone who might have an interest seems both fair and productive. Randy Kryn 13:33, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

The following WikiProjects have been notified of this move discussion:

I have added these, which seem much more relevant than some of those above: Dicklyon (talk) 03:58, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Thank you, Dicklyon. While I agree that this is a matter of grammar and punctuation, and those are certainly appropriate WikiProjects to notify, I was addressing Randy's concern—which I share—that editors who have an interest in King himself wouldn't be aware of this discussion because they might not have this page on their watchlists. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 20:55, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per RGloucester. -sche (talk) 22:24, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's really silly to have this article and the article on King himself stylized differently. The MOS itself says not to switch between acceptable styles and are policy on article titles says a compelling reason is needed for a move. Calidum ¤ 23:18, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Irrelevant. The RfC that led to the change at MOS:JR, to favor the no-comma usage, was predicated specifically upon consideration of the case of Martin Luther King[,] Jr., and it concluded to deprecate the comma. So the Martin Luther King Jr. title is the one that should be used at that article as well. Also, MOS:JR says not to use the comma unless the sources for particular name do so consistently, and they don't, so this is not a "switch between acceptable styles", it's a conversion of an unacceptable style to the acceptable one. Did you have any actual sources- or policy-based rationales?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:46, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
The close of that "case" (please link it, there are so many rules discussions and walls of text) recommended that older articles be grandfathered in. You, I believe, and if I'm remembering that right, are mischaracterizing that close. Link please. And yes, what about consistency among the King pages? WP:CONSISTENCY goes by the wayside? Randy Kryn 00:11, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Here is the RFC and the explanation of why the closer felt it would be appopriate to retain existing commas, which you correctly note has been completely ignored by the gang of three. Calidum ¤ 03:29, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Archived: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_125#RfC:_Amending_MOS:JR_on_comma_usage includes the post-close discussion. Dicklyon (talk) 03:49, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, per MOS:JR since source usage is inconsistent, and we default to no-comma unless the current sources overwhelmingly prefer the comma. If we were not to remove the comma, it would need to move to Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; it's ungrammatical with just one comma. This kind of error is precisely why WP and the majority of off-WP sources are moving away from the comma; people never quite seem to wrap their minds around what function the commas serve and how they are used. It also interferes with other constructions like possessively, and leads to disputes about what punctuation may take the place of the trailing comma (obviously a period/full stop can, but one about an en dash? Etc.). The commas are a pain for editors, the source of years of unproductive dispute, and just need to go.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:46, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
    No it wouldn't have to move anywhere. It's the common name. The official name also contains the comma. Randy Kryn 00:17, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
    Randy, are you saying you would also oppose Martin Luther King, Jr., Day? That's a non-uncommon choice that book editors make when they prefer to use the comma before Jr. and also want it to be grammatical. Like in this book and this book. Keeping the comma and also staying ungrammatical flies in the face of all grammar guides of all ages, and is not something that Wikipedia should tolerate; so the "acceptable style" argument is beyond silly here. Dicklyon (talk) 02:37, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Support: Per nominator and others. Fdssdf (talk) 23:26, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per nominator and others. Randy Kryn, I know a lot about Martin Luther King Day—since informally supervising a doctoral project on its fascinating history and the insights it offers into other aspects of American society. Three points: (i) federal funding doesn't afftect the status of punctuation (in 2013, Chicago MOS 16th ed. reversed their long-standing advice to dot "U.S."; but that doesn't mean federal departments and agencies have instantly changed their logos and letterheads). Your assertion of "common usage" is, I'm afraid, contestable, and the fact that at least one US state government uses the unfussy form rather weakens that case further. (ii) The use of commas in "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" creates weird, bumpy islands; this is no doubt why most writers don't feel comfortable with them in that word-string. (iii) Dicklyon's analysis of books provides compelling evidence of widespread (even though not unanimous) comma-less usage—in which case our house style would normally go with no commas. Tony (talk) 15:57, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.