Martin Luther King Jr. became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968.
His birthday will be celebrated on Monday, January 20.
As part of Wednesday’s South Pasadena City Council meeting, City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe announced the city will be closed on Monday in observance of MLK Day.
“During the week leading up to the MLK holiday, the library celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a display of books and DVDs in the foyer near the main entrance,” said DeWolfe. “In addition, a wide variety of picture books about King, the Freedom Riders, the Selma marchers and more are on display in the children’s room. The library also has many King-themed materials available in its digital collections.”
A federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day is celebrated annually on the third Monday of January and is also commonly known as “King Day.” “MLK Day,” “Civil Rights Day” or “Human Rights Day.”
Over the years, it has been seen as a “Day of Service” when Americans volunteer to help the less fortunate in a time of need.
“As we approach the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, on Monday, January 20th, it is important for us to recognize why we are celebrating this day,” said South Pasadena Mayor Robert Joe during the council meeting. “Before Dr. King’s efforts and the Civil Rights Movement, public policy legally and socially accepted discrimination and segregation. Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement helped change public policy to integrate equity for all racial minorities, and resulted in the repeal of state laws mandating racial segregation.”
King was influential in the American Civil Rights Movement. He advocated for non-violent activism in the struggle for the end of racial discrimination before he was assassinated in 1968.
“He devoted his life to fighting segregation and injustice by nonviolent means and is an outstanding example of courageous leadership,” Joe added.
The federal holiday honoring King was signed into law in 1983 and first observed three years later during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
Monday celebrates the personal story of a man who spent his youth in Georgia, building a strong religious faith as a reverend and later delivering a legendary “I Have a Dream” speech after gaining political power.
“In his words, everybody can be great because anybody can serve,” Joe told audience members. “You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul full of love.”
Happy Birthday, Mr. King.