Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr’s memory, his legacy and his birthday. MLK Day is one of only four United States federal holidays to commemorate an individual (the others include George Washington, Christopher Columbus and Jesus Christ). King was assassinated in 1968, making this our 40th year in mourning. While we reflect on the memory and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. I just wanted put in perspective the struggles that went into making this day a reality. Many people take Martin Luther King, Jr. day for granted. It’s a day we get off work or school, maybe watch a few PBS specials, or attend ceremonies celebrating his achievements, but that’s about it. Many people are not aware of the intense opposition that people such as Senator Jesse Helms and former president Ronald Reagan, had against Martin Luther King. It was only after intense campaigning from community activists, businesses and politicians that MLK Day came to be. With over six million signatures, the petition for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became the largest petition in favor of an issue in United States History. It took artists like Public Enemy and Stevie Wonder, writing songs pressuring stubborn states like Arizona, to finally get the bill passed unanimously. It was not until May 2, 2000, that South Carolina relented, becoming the last state to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday an official holiday. So today as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the millions of activists who bled, sweat and cried alongside him, let us also recognize the hard work that went into making this day possible. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 79 years old on January 15th, 2008.