Martin Luther King was assassinated on this day, April 4, in 1968. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7 a national day of mourning for the civil rights leader. Beginning in 1971, some states established annual holidays to honor King. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. Following President George H. W. Bush’s 1992 proclamation, the holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day., is observed on the third Monday of January each year, near the time of King’s birthday.
Read more about Karsh’s sitting with Martin Luther King.