Martin Luther King Jr. Day Is Being Honored As Far Away As The International Space Station
While primarily an American holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is being recognized as far away as the International Space Station, in honor of the late Dr. King's legacy to fight for racial and economic justice. The American and British astronauts even get the day off. You might not be that lucky, but cities across the country have special events planned for the holiday that marks Dr. King's birthday.
Across the country, service projects are among the main events celebrating the holiday this year as a part of the push to turn MLK Day into a national day of service embraced by the Obama administration. In President Obama's proclamation of the holiday this year, he highlighted the events and opportunities to volunteer that can be found at the national MLK website. He called on all Americans to help fulfill Dr. King's vision:
Today, we celebrate the long arc of progress for which Dr. King and so many other leaders fought to bend toward a brighter day. It is our mission to fulfill his vision of a Nation devoted to rejecting bigotry in all its forms; to rising above cynicism and the belief that we cannot change; and to cherishing dignity and opportunity not only for our own daughters and sons, but also for our neighbors' children.
Big volunteer efforts are being made in cities across the country. In New York, many of the volunteer events center around the homeless. Philadelphia is home to one of the largest organized service efforts: Some 135,000 volunteers and 1,000 service events are planned. The volunteer efforts stretch to the West Coast, too, where Los Angeles has organized a "A Day On, Not a Day Off" to get residents involved.
Many museums nationwide are offering discounted or free entrance. In Atlanta — where Dr. King was born — the city's museums will be free Monday including King Center, a park created in honor of Dr. King. In Alabama, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will be giving free tours of their gallery. King wrote his famous "Letter From Birmingham City Jail" while detained there.
There are also many cultural events planned. In New York, you can hear the Harlem Gospel Choir or head to the 30th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. featuring musical acts and speakers.
NASA didn't just give its astronauts the day off. It also posted a video to YouTube honoring the holiday and the national day of service, pushing people to get involved.
Go to www.MLKDay.gov to see how you can get involved.