WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in an America where, because of the color of their skin, nearly one in ten lived lives that were separate and unequal; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King awakened something strong and true, a sense that true justice must be color blind, and that among white and black Americans, as he said, "their destiny is tied up with our destiny, and their freedom is inexplicably bound to our freedom; we cannot walk alone."; and

WHEREAS, in 1964 Dr. King became the youngest man in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King called on us to emphasize what is right about America, what is noblest and best, what human beings have pursued since the beginning of history; and

WHEREAS, his nonviolent campaigns brought reconciliation and justice; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King is an outstanding example of important black leadership which has contributed fully and substantially to the progress of our nation; and

WHEREAS, our nation has decided to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by setting aside a day each year to remember him and the just cause for which he stood; and

WHEREAS, the Missouri General Assembly in 1979 designated the 15th day of January as "Martin Luther King Day" and provided that celebration shall be at the option of the employee; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States thereafter provided that the third Monday of January each year would be a federal holiday in honor of Dr. King; and

WHEREAS, legislation has been introduced in this session of the Missouri General Assembly to amend Missouri law to conform to Federal law on this important matter; and

WHEREAS, legislative leaders have indicated that this legislation likely will be approved during this session of the General Assembly, and the Governor has indicated his support for such legislation in such a way that there is no increase in the total number of holidays for state employees. The Governor has recommended that the state abandon the archaic practice of dismissing state workers on election days.

WHEREAS, in this the first year that Dr. King's birthday is recognized by the federal government it is fitting and appropriate that the state of Missouri honor Dr. King in a manner consistent with the federal government.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN ASHCROFT, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby order and direct that all state offices will be closed on January 20, 1986 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the constructive leadership he exemplifies.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 13th day of January, 1986.

[John Ashcroft's signature]


[Roy D. Blunt's signature]

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