Message on the Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 14, 1986

I am pleased to send my warm greetings to all those celebrating our nation's first observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a Federal holiday.

Dr. King forged a dream out of the values of his religion and the ideals of our nation's founders. He cherished the dream of a world where human dignity was respected, human rights were protected, and all stood equal before the law. Like Lincoln, he sought the full realization of the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence.

So, as we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., let us recommit ourselves to living his dream. As we rejoice in his achievements and mourn again his untimely death, let us emulate the profound faith and the deep love for humanity that inspired him. Let us work without tiring for a world at peace, in which justice and freedom prevail.

Nancy joins me in wishing all of you a celebration filled with joy and meaning.

Ronald Reagan