It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day

      Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day, a federal holiday as well as a one for most states. Federal, state, and county offices are closed, as are banks and financial institutions, and there is no mail delivery. 

     In his annual Martin Luther King Day message, Nebraska Gov Pete Ricketts praised Dr King for the way he “displayed heroic courage in leading a movement to confront racial injustice in the United State (and) practiced and preached that ‘we must meet hate with love.’”

      Ricketts wrote that “despite brutal opposition, Dr King remained steadfast in his commitment to peaceful protest (with) his ethic of nonviolent resistance a model for Americans as we exercise our First Amendment rights. “

        The governor said Dr King’s tragic death was not in vain and his legacy continues to grow, (making) it fitting that he is remembered with an annual national holiday. Ricketts called on Nebraskans, today especially, to “reflect on how we can better serve our neighbors and be agents of peace in our world.”:

     Congress created Martin Luther King Jr Day to both honor the memory of the Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights leader, and as a general celebration of the civil rights movement and equality. It was first observed in 1986 and is the 3rd Monday in January, sometimes falling on his Jan 15 birthday.

     It is also a National Day of Service, proclaimed by Congress in 1994, to bring together people from different backgrounds to meet needs in their community.

     The Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that leads the Day of Service effort, says more than 10,000 service projects are planned in all 50 states to address a multitude of pressing social issues from poverty to hunger and the dropout crisis.

     Volunteers and project leaders from around the country will be posting videos, blog messages, tweets, and photos in real-time throughout Monday that capture volunteer activities in their communities. To track what is happening at service sites and find local volunteer opportunities, visit