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Governor Evan Mecham of Arizona cancels Martin Luther King day

Evan Mecham, the governor of Arizonia fullfilled his campaign promise to cancel a paid MLK Day holiday for state employees as his first act in office.

He replied to civil rights activists and the Black community after the cancellation by saying "King doesn't deserve a holiday." This was followed by him telling a group of black community leaders, "You folks don't need another holiday. What you folks need are jobs."

In reaction to the cancellation, a protest march to the state capital was held on January 19, 1987, the day the holiday would have occurred. Conventions scheduled to be held in Arizona were canceled, the NFL cancelled the Superbowl and performer Stevie Wonder announced a boycott of the state.

After several months of criticism, Mecham declared a non-paid holiday on the third Sunday in January.

More Arizona cancels Martin Luther King day

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