Years ago, the Arizona Legislature put a proposal for Martin Luther King Day on the ballot. Almost everyone thought it was a good idea, but there was a real question of which other holiday would have to be removed to pay for it. The Legislature decided that Columbus Day would no longer be a state holiday. Of course, this made the Italian Americans upset, and they gathered enough signatures for a competing bill to add MLK day and keep Columbus Day. Still another ballot added MLK Day but did away with another holiday. No one bill got enough votes to put MLK Day on the calendar with all the contradictory proposals.

Arizona was promptly labeled a racist state. It lost quite a few major tourism events, including the chance to host the 1993 Superbowl.

Soon another proposal was made for MLK Day, and this time no competing proposals made it to the ballot. This time around, no one wanted to risk MLK Day not passing, so there was only one proposal on the ballot. It passed overwhelmingly.

To my knowledge, Arizona is the ONLY state to ever put MLK Day to a public vote.


And going by the raw numbers, MLK Day passed both times.

Yet to hear many Americans, Arizona is STILL a racist state that doesn't care about minorities because it voted down MLK Day.