Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Wheaton

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.

In Wheaton, the DuPage County Historical Museum is hosting Martin Luther King Day Service Program. Students will have the opportunity to celebrate and remember Martin Luther King with a day of service. The $25 program is best for students ages 7-12. The program's fee covers the cost of supplies for the People's Resource Center and food pantry in Wheaton.

Later that day, Chick-fil-A will host I Have a Dream Family Night in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, offering activities and learning opportunities at the restaurant from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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.

Gregg Slapak January 18, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I honor Dr. King for, as I have long seen it, in his time he was "key" in helping to bring our society closer to what it should be under our constution and morally, as well. It's up to ALL of us to continue the work. Seems so simple, and should be without question and/or hesitation... "Equal rights for all!"
Gregg Slapak January 19, 2013 at 03:12 AM


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