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Illinois becomes the first state to declare King’s birthday a legal holiday
Previous entry September 17, 1973
Illinois becomes the first state to declare King’s birthday a legal holiday
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Starting in 1969, Harold Washington, a member of the House of Representatives from the state of Illinois, introduces a series of bills in Illinois to officially commemorate King's birthday. On 17 September 1973, Govenor Daniel Walker, with Harold Washington observing, signs the final bill into law. Illinois is the first of all fifty states to officially declare Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a legal holiday.

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