Holidays and Traditions
African-American History
Barack Obama

Who was the first African-American to be honored with a national holiday?



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When President Truman was in office, during the 79th Congress, Public Law 290 was passed and designated January 5 of every year George Washing Carver Recognition Day. This is considered a national holiday. The flag was ordered to fly at half staff on this day. This holiday occured upon George Washington Carver's death which was January 5, 1943. Many people do not know about this holiday observance. Civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., is honored with a nationalfederal holiday that has been observed near his birthday (January 15, 1929), on the third Monday of January each year since 1986. In spite of his opposition to the bill that created the holiday, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law on Nov. 2, 1983, after it was overwhelminly passed by Congress(338 to 90 in the House of Representatives, and 78 to 22 in the Senate). George Washington Carver Day was before the King Holidayi.