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Martin Luther King Jr. Day in South Brunswick

Tell us what this holiday means to you and how you will celebrate?

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.

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.

Joe R January 21, 2013 at 03:10 PM
A great man and certainly one of the greatest, (if not the greatest), civil rights leaders in US history. He is not only a major US historical figure but he is respected in the greater world for the sacrifices he made for justice and peace. Throughout much of his adult life he was under constant threat of physical harm and assassination but that did not intimidate him. He did it all without guns, without some cockamamie 2nd Amendment solution. He did not order his followers to take up arms and fight off the tyrants who oppressed black Americans. He accomplished more without guns; if he had taken a second amendment solution, many more people would have died and it would have derailed his key agendas. We were very lucky to have had him at a pivotal time in US history. He also had the intelligence, wisdom and foresight to be against the Vietnam war.
Kennedy Hart January 23, 2013 at 07:50 AM
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and all the people affected by the tragedies that occurred in this past year, I present to you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJRPSEsOYEI Even though we've made great progress, there is still so much to overcome. If we work together we can truly change the world.

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