From The Archive: MLK Day Finally Becomes A Holiday In N.H.

Jun 5, 2014

Credit Minnesota Historical Society

On a Monday morning the weather more closely resembled Martin Luther King Jr’s hometown of Atlanta, than it did downtown Concord. But the heat and humidity didn’t discourage those who had gathered at the statehouse for the historic bill signing.

NHPR's Michael Brindley documented the twenty-year story that resulted in this event. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen hosted the ceremony on 7 June, 1999, which included brief remarks from bill sponsors, renditions of “We Shall Overcome” and featured speaker Martin Luther King III. She then signed into law the bill recognizing MLK Day as a state holiday, making NH the last state to do so.

NHPR assigned a reporter (unidentified) to attend the ceremony, record the proceedings and speak with the participants. I recently came across the recording and assembled this audio postcard of the day. Voices featured: Gov. Shaheen, Sen. Beverly Hollingworth, Arnie Alpert and Martin Luther King III.