Monday, Jan. 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to give back and serve the community, be it through removing graffiti or picking up litter in a local park.
For others, it’s an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work. And for others, it’s a time to just kick back and enjoy the prolonged weekend.
In Plymouth, the annual Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. Mon. Jan. 21 at Plymouth South High School. The theme of the event is the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the "I have a dream speech" given in Washington DC by Rev. King in 1963.
The featured speaker will be Cary Barnes, a former Plymothian and an actor in New York City, who performs that speech as well as others by MLK. The event is sponsored by the Plymouth Area Clergy Council, the Plymouth Public Schools and the Plymouth No Place For Hate Committee. Tickets are $8 available from churches and the NPFH committee and at the door.
So, tell us—What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy?
The Holiday's History
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, now a U.S. holiday, took 15 years to create.
Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.
The bill was stalled, but Conyers, along with Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington.
Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day.
Now, the Corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.
TELL US: What does MLK Day mean to you? Tell us in the comments.