Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Freehold

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.

The Community YMCA and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County are hosting their 24th annual memorial breakfast to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his enduring message of service on Monday, Jan. 21 from 8 to 10 a.m. at Branches in West Long Branch.

Local government buildings will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Freehold schools were originally scheduled to observe the holiday as well, however, after Hurricane Sandy the school calendar was changed. 

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.

karla January 18, 2013 at 12:24 AM
I thank marther luther king for what he did.
Marc LeVine January 21, 2013 at 02:23 PM
I think that Martin Luther King Day has a special significance in Freehold, since our town has a less than stellar civil rights history of its own to carry. We need than travel no farther than the Court Street School to remember that we live in what once was a segregated town with racial strife. Hopefully, on this day we are celebrating getting beyond that and celebrating our diversity.


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