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Would you believe there are current members of Congress who voted against making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday in 1983?

According to Yahoo! News, both former GOP presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona, and Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama voted against the holiday back in the day, along with four men who have since left the Senate.

The site reports:

Two current U.S. senators voted against the holiday during their time as representatives in the House: former GOP presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama. And four other men who went on to join the Senate (though they have now left it) opposed is as well: Jim Jeffords of Vermont, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Larry Craig of Idaho and Phil Gramm of Texas.

Current House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) also voted against the MLK Day measure. Interestingly, so did Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who decades later would emerge as the top Republican advocate in defense of the Voting Rights Act.

A couple of today’s senators also voted against the legislation before it hit President Ronald Reagan‘s desk, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Fortunately, these members were all out-voted, which is how we came to have the federal holiday honoring MLK today.


SOURCE: Yahoo! News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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