Most people understand the true importance of the holiday, and a vast majority of people acknowledge it in some way. The work that MLK Jr did for civil rights was amazing, and we need to honor him and keep these civil rights battles in mind when faced with the ongoing racial tensions in our country. I think that having one day each year to remember this is a great way to make sure people haven't forgotten and don't give up the continuing fight.
MLK's birthday has been a holiday for longer than just the year 2000, this is just when all states finally acknowledged it. His birthday was made a holiday in 1986, though it took some states longer to get on board with the holiday. Now, everybody acknowledges the importance of the holiday because we are mandated by law. Enjoy your day off!
The fact that 2000 was the first year that Martin Luther King Jr. Day was recognized in every state is a sign that the things that he fought for have not yet been fully resolved. Many people think of this day only as a day off of work, rather than a chance to reflect on MLK, his ideas, and the work that still needs to be done.
Martin Luther King Jr. has a national holiday dedicated to his memory because his life and legacy are of great relevance to our nation's history. The Civil Rights movement was shaped and impacted by this national icon. No matter what race or culture an American hails from, he or she should learn about and recognize the significance of MLK JR. and what his activism and subsequent assassination meant for this country. The fact that few people acknowledge this day in history and still fewer choose to celebrate its significance speaks to the ongoing racism and civil rights struggles we still face in America today.