It's MLK Day: How Will You Recognize the National Holiday?

Is it a day to celebrate, a day to give back or the last day of a long weekend?

Monday, Jan. 21, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

For some, it is a day to honor the prominent civil rights activist by giving back to the community, like these opportunities chronicled in Athens Patch and Oconee Patch.

For others, it is a day of celebration, a way to celebrate the unity in the community, like the second annual

And for others, it is the final day on a long weekend and an opportunity for a day off work.

So which is it for you? A day to give back, a day to celebrate or the last day of a vacation weekend?

A little history, courtesy of Wheaton Patch

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.

Lewis Walker January 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I am spending the day working as one of the 2%--generating tax dollars to pay my more than fair share of the "fair share."


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