Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.
It was signed into law in 1983 but it wasn't officially celebrated until 1986 but wait it gets better you ever heard about the super 8 ? the eight republicans who voted against making MLK an federal holiday and guess who's on the list I'll give u a hint he ran against Obama in 08 also add that Regan himself voted against this ..
That notorious list includes eight more Republicans. In the Senate, Richard Shelby (Alabama,) Chuck Grassley (Iowa,) John McCain (Arizona,) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). In the House, Jim Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin) and Hal Rogers (Kentucky). While serving in state legislatures, Rep. John Culberson (Texas) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (Georgia) also voted against the holiday.