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Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Anne Arundel

Patch offers some history about MLK, opportunities for service and Anne Arundel County's schedule for Jan. 21. Tell us what this holiday means to you and how you will celebrate?

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to give back and serve the community, be it through removing graffiti or picking up litter in a local park.

For others, it’s an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work. And for others, it’s a time to just kick back and enjoy the prolonged weekend.

There are some local opportunities listed by the Volunteer Center For Anne Arundel County to participate in a day of service: The Banneker-Douglass Museum, located at 84 Franklin St. in Annapolis, will host an event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Historic London Town, located at 839 Londontown Rd. in Edgewater, is looking for volunteers to work outdoors from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 21. For more information about the event at London Town, contact Nicki Fiocco at volunteer@aacounty.org or 410-222-7315.

Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) will host a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Jan. 21. According to the website, the breakfast honors local residents and civic leaders who best emulate the spirit of Dr. King and salutes winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visionary Kids Contest, a showcase for the performing and visual arts talents of Anne Arundel County Public School students. Doors for the event open at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast served at 8 a.m. in the David S. Jenkins Gymnasium, located at 101 College Parkway in Arnold.

So, tell us—What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy?

Anne Arundel County's Holiday Schedule for Jan. 21

  • All county offices are closed.
  • Landfill & Convenience Centers are closed. 
  • Senior Centers are closed.
  • Curbside collection will occur.
  • Library Branches are open.
  • County regional parks are open.

The Holiday's History

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, now a U.S. holiday, took 15 years to create.

Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.

The bill was stalled, but Conyers, along with Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington. 

Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day. 

Now, the Corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.

TELL US: What does MLK Day mean to you? Tell us in the comments.

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