Today, January 18, the country honors the late Martin Luther King, Jr. The U.S. federal government marks the occasion with a holiday, and Google marks it with a MLK Google Doodle.

Google, who is known for their creative designs on their main page, honors the hero today with his face shaped as the “G” and multiple microphones as the other letters. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully brought an end racial discrimination in federal and state laws.

The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983. It was first observed three years later. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

The only other place outside the U.S. where Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed with equal importance is in the Japanese city of Hiroshima under Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who holds a special banquet at the mayor’s office as an act of unifying his city’s call for peace with King’s message of peace.

 

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