Every year, the holiday Martin Luther King Day,  is observed on the Monday closest to King’s birthday (January 15). The story of the holiday’s creation began shortly after King’s death, when Congressman John Conyers of Michigan introduced a bill proposing a federal holiday be created in King’s honor.

The bill was greatly supported by certain groups like labor unions across the country, since King collaborated closely with unions during his lifetime.However, the movement stalled during the late 1970s, however recording star Stevie Wonder helped popularize the issue by dedicating his hit song “Happy Birthday” to King.

In 1983, King’s widow Coretta Scott King presented Congress with 6 million signatures.

That year, the bill finally passed in Congress, and it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. However, it was not until 2000 that every state in the Union recognized it as a paid holiday for all employees.

Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspirational man. Here are some quotations attributed to him.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. And if we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong.”

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”