Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day, a federal holiday as well as one for most states. Federal, state, and county offices are closed, as are financial institutions, and there is no mail delivery. Most schools are in class, but Chadron State College is off.
In his annual Martin Luther King Day message, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts writes that Dr King “confronted racial injustice with a message of love and a commitment to non-violence. His courageous leadership helped bring about much-needed civil rights reforms.”
Ricketts continued “His impassioned speeches and sermons stirred Americans to renew their commitment to our nation’s founding ideal ‘that all men are created equal.’ As we celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, let’s aspire to the life of service he modeled, remembering that ‘Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.’”
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.
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 mlkday.gov.
The Chadron State College Social Sciences Club is sponsoring Martin Luther King Jr Day events for the next 3 days, starting this morning at 10:30 with the annual march from 3rd and Main to the Student Center. Recordings of some of Dr King’s speeches will play during the walk.
It’s followed at noon by lunch and at 1:00 by a student discussion panel on Dr King’s life and legacy. Both are in the Student Center Ballroom. Tomorrow night at 6:00, it’s an Open Mic Night in the Student Center Amphitheater, co-sponsored with Sigma Tau Delta.
Wednesday has a Book of the Month presentation on The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead at 5:00 in the Student Center Ponderosa Room. It’s co-sponsored by the CSC Reta King Library.