US embassy, consulates in Greece shut on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday

US Embassy Athens

The US Embassy in Athens and its Consular Section, the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki, and all American government offices in Greece will be closed on Monday, January 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday, a US national holiday.

On Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday honours the civil rights leader born on January 15, 1929. This would have been his 95th birthday.

The holiday is always observed on the third Monday of January.

This year marks 56 years since the activist was assassinated.

Today, King is widely lauded as a hero who led a nonviolent crusade against racist segregation policies and horrendous brutality against Black people. But at the time, much of white America considered his views quite radical, including the government.

The Pew Research Center found that by 1966 — two years after he'd received the Nobel Peace Prize — 63% of Americans had an unfavourable opinion of King, "including 44% who viewed him highly unfavourably." Today, 81% of American adults say he positively impacted the country.

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