Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994. Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service. has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King. In honor of MLK, volunteers across the country donate their time to make a difference on this day.
Explore the mlkday.gov site to learn more about MLK Day and how you can participate. Below area few links to get you started.
MLK Day: Final Freedom Train in Bay Area ends 30 years of celebrating King’s legacy
1/19/2015 11:36:32 AM PST mercurynews.
SAN JOSE — America’s final Freedom Train chugged out of San Jose’s Diridon Station and into the history books Monday, ending three decades of tributes on the nation’s rails that celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring legacy.
After years of declining interest, the chartered Caltrain roared to San Francisco on its final journey with a rejuvenated spirit and about 1,500 passengers — five times more than last year.
Packed joyously in 10 train cars, the multicultural mix of pilgrims sang civil rights hymns, read MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech and shared personal stories. Michelle Geary’s mother, Arlee Geary, made sure their family was onboard.
“My mom called me and said, ‘I grew up on Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy and if this is going to be the last train I want all of us to ride it,” said Michelle Geary of San Jose whose son and husband were also part of the final ride.
King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, started the Freedom Train celebrations in dozens of cities across the country to commemorate the historic civil rights march her husband led from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
But with so many new competing events over the years marking MLK’s birthday, the train journeys faded away, leaving the Bay Area’s as the last to survive. This year, after the police killings of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York, the traditional day of service also became a day of civil rights protests.
“All those people protesting these days, they ought to be demanding the continuation of the Freedom Train because losing this is a really a shame,” said Charles Herndon, who was the conductor on the first 25 years of MLK trains before retiring. He rode the farewell train as a passenger Monday.