Civil Rights Day is an annual holiday in Arizona and New Hampshire, in the US, on the fourth Monday of February. It is commemorated with a celebration of civil rights and is joined with Martin Luther King Day. Both holidays highlight the fight for equal rights between blacks and whites during the eras of slavery and white supremacy.
The symbolism of Civil Rights Day comes from the fact that after the Civil War, blacks were freed from slavery yet again, but certain states still had laws preventing blacks from exercising their right to vote or holding certain offices.
There is no central civil rights holiday in the United States as it varies from state to state. On the national level, however, the holiday is commemorated with activities, events, and specials centered around the theme of the day. In some states, the holiday is celebrated with Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. In Massachusetts, King’s birthday is proclaimed “MLK Day”.
Civil Rights Day 2023 – 17 January, Wishes, Status, Messages, Quotes & Greetings
A number of states around the country also commemorate Memorial Day. The national holiday is usually the first weekend in May and the states break up the holiday into several separate events. Some states, like Tennessee, schedule the start of the holiday on Memorial Day and have a parade, while other states like Georgia have a parade but no national holiday to observe. Instead, the parade goes out of state and is designated as a special event.
Most southern states have a holiday named after Dr. King, but there are no national holidays designated in Massachusetts nor do any of the southern states celebrate Dr. King’s birth. In the New Hampshire state House, for example, the birthday of the King is not marked with a special session of the legislature, but rather a gathering of relatives and friends at the King’s home. In Maryland, King’s statue is also not displayed at the capitol but instead is displayed at the Baltimore city hall. In many southern states, the Freedom Movement represented the sentiments of King, but in other southern states, the movement has faded largely into a historical past.
Civil Rights Day History:
In the mid-vernacular days of New England and the New York area, the third Monday in May became known as “Lincoln’s Bday”. It was a celebration of Lincoln’s” Gettysburg Address”. On this day, both the Union and the Confederate States of America offered public somber expressions of their opposition to each other. On the third Monday in May, New Hampshire was the only state to eliminate slavery. In the years since nine other states have adopted a free-slave law.
In Maryland, the legislature has designated April 16 as “Lincoln’s Bday”. The state House of Representatives voted in January to officially make the fourth Monday in May, Lincoln Day. The Senate is expected to take up the bill soon. Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the states, local municipalities will use their own names for the fourth Monday in May. The Washington Post has called on local school districts to eliminate references to the holiday on their calendar.