Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
On Nov. 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the bill that would institute Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The holiday was first observed in 1986.

Reagan resisted the holiday at first. The union-backed bill would give federal workers a 10th annual holiday, cutting against the Great Communicator's vision of a smaller and more efficient government.

Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas) criticized other conservatives for putting fiscal concerns over the need to honor the civil rights leader.

"I suggest they hurry back to their pocket calculators and estimate the cost of 300 years of slavery followed by a century or more of economic, political, and social exclusion and discrimination," he said.

King biographer Taylor Branch said Reagan "expressed doubt about King's fundamental loyalty to the United States on the very day he signed (the) legislation."

Similar accusations were made on the Senate floor, where Sen. Jessie Helms (R-North Carolina) filibustered against the holiday, claiming King was a Communist.

Here are some of Reagan's remarks given just before signing the holiday into law:

Martin Luther King was born in 1929... In a nation that proclaimed liberty and justice for all, too many black Americans were living with neither.

Dr. King had awakened something strong and true, a sense that true justice must be colorblind, and that among white and black Americans, as he put it, "Their destiny is tied up with our destiny, and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom; we cannot walk alone."

There was a change of heart. The conscience of America had been touched. Across the land, people had begun to treat each other not as blacks and whites, but as fellow Americans.

But traces of bigotry still mar America. So, each year on Martin Luther King Day, let us not only recall Dr. King, but rededicate ourselves to the Commandments he believed in and sought to live every day: Thou shall love thy God with all thy heart, and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

What do you think of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Tell us in the comments below.
AMERIKANISCH January 27, 2014 at 12:15 AM
As many people as possible should be self-sufficient and productive, yet libs do not know this simple truth which, in my opinion, makes them very, very dangerous. As few people as possible should be dependent on government, yet libs do not know this which, in my opinion, makes them very, very dangerous. When you have no idea of basic truths that every creature with an IQ over 80 knows, and you insist on making the rules, you are very, very dangerous.
Things I Learned January 27, 2014 at 12:20 AM
Panglonymous here's an update on the beating Shiningpathi is taking so far: 1. Shiningpathi stated that the 2nd Amendment is "maddeningly ambiguous." 2. I stated that it is no such thing except and this is a purely secondary point to those who wish it was i.e. need it to be to further their agendas. 3. Thus the debate topic is whether the 2nd Amendment is ambiguous. 4. Shiningpathi made an appeal to authority citing Robert Bork and Ronald Reagan. 5. I replied that Bork was wrong about the 2nd Amendment and asked Shiningpathi to provide better context for Reagan's statement about the Mulford Act with reference to how it fit iin with Reagan's opinion on the 2nd Amendment itself given that Reagan made many statements about the 2nd Amendment over his long commie killing career the background you should know about Bork is that he said the 2nd Amendment only protected state militias my point is that he was wrong about that like he was wrong about many Constitutional questions but he didn't think the 2nd Amendment was ambiguous which remember is the debate topic he was sure bit he was wrong which isn't support for the claim to ambiguity the Reagan stuff we are still waiting for Shiningpathi to explain what he meant. 6. Shiningpathi responded about Bork that his error did not contradict is the same thing as my statement that the 2nd Amendment is not ambiguous except to those who want it to be. 6a. I agreed thus utterly deflating Shiningpathi's weak attempt to substitute sarcasm for reason because he is right I am right. 7. Shiningpathi asked if when I said better contextualize Reagan's statement about the Mulford Act I meant the link he already provided he also personally attacked me I hope you agree that within my posts on this topic I have not done the same to him just in the joke posts outside the debate and calling him Shiningpathi like he makes reference to things I should have learned. 7a. I responded no when I said better I meant better. 8. Shiningpathi indicated he would not debate me on this topic. He also made another personal attack claiming I am hijacking Carl's post which is really just a way to get out of backing up his claim without admitting it. 9. I appealed to Carl to find out how he feels about the "real" posts not the joke stuff and pointed out that I was specifically addressing an assertion that Shiningpathi had made without any prompting by me. 10. In my opinion Shiningpathi has not met his burden of proof and if the debate ends now any fair judge would say I have won whether they agree with me on the underlying point or not."
Things I Learned January 27, 2014 at 12:30 AM
" Things I Learned January 26, 2014 at 09:27 pm So my questions are: 1. Carl do youthink I am hijacking your blog or is this the king of far ranging free exchange of ideas you want to encourage? 2. Shiningpathi do you agree that we are debating whether the 2nd Amendment is ambiguous? 3. Jeremiah if we stop debating now do you think Shiningpathi has met his burden of proof?" http://northridge.patch.com/groups/carl-petersen-iiis-blog/p/democracy-in-inaction?ncid=newsltuspatc00000010
Things I Learned January 27, 2014 at 12:54 AM
" Things I Learned January 26, 2014 at 09:53 pm As Carl has been on here deleting nonsense posts including mine since I asked my question twice if he thinks I am hijacking his blog with my substantive posts and he hasn't deleted the substantive posts I consider him to have answered in the negative no he doesn't think I am hijacking his blog Jeremiah since you are kind of the judge here would you agree that question has been answered in my favor and Shiningpathi and I have no reason to not continue the debate unless for some reason Shiningpathi wants to quit?"
Komfort January 27, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Thanks for the update!


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