Legislation: Martin Luther King Holiday Act
August 02,1983


As early as 1970, Senator Dole supported efforts for the creation of a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. He signed on as a co-sponsor in 1983 to S. 400 -- “A bill to designate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr, a legal public holiday.” Debate in the Senate became heated as some Republican opponents argued strongly against the bill and at one point began a filibuster to stop the legislation. Under a motion for cloture, and two days of intense debate, the legislation passed in the Senate with a vote of 78 to 22.