Tuesday, January 15, 2008
According to my little datebook calendar, today, January 15, is "Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday, Traditional." I don't quite understand this. Was there some point at which the date of Dr. King's birth was lost to the shrouded mists of history, forcing scholars to adopt some sort of consensus birthdate that then entered the American tradition?
Not to get all Pat Buchanan on you, but January 15th is a pretty bad day for a holiday. We've just had Christmas and New Year's, and there's even less to do on a somewhat random day in the bleak midwinter than there was to do on New Year's Day, which was nothing. You might as well go to work.
I've always felt that the holiday should be on the day of Dr. King's assassination, which is April 4th, for those of you who haven't heard "Pride (In the Name of Love)." An early spring day, right around baseball's Opening Day, makes for a much more pleasant holiday and fills that long, fallow trough between Presidents' Day and Memorial Day. Plus, it would be nice for Americans have it stuck back in their faces how this figure of peace was taken out by The Man.