COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - On Monday, the country will come together to celebrate one of its most influential figures: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential leaders in world history.
The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later.
The holiday commemorates King’s influence by focusing on unity and giving back. Here are a few local ways you can celebrate this year:
Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemorative Service
- Piedmont Columbus Regional will host a commemorative service featuring special guest speaker Jeremiah Castille. Castille is the current Chaplain for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. The event will begin at 11:00 AM.
Promoting Unity Within the Harris County Community
- Harris County will celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a parade and unity event. The Harris County Men’s Club organized and sponsored the event with help from St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, Christian Valley Baptist Church, and ONE Harris County. The parade rolls out at 1:00 PM, followed by a brief program including a Community Unity Choir. The remainder of the afternoon will be spent enjoying food, games, and entertainment. This free unity event is open to all residents of Harris County.
The Dream Day Foundation the 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Program.
- The Dream Day Foundation is partnering with McDonald’s of Auburn, Opelika and Tuskegee to hold a special unity event this MLK day. This year’s celebration will start off with a unity and legacy march (weather permitting) from Greater Peace Church to OPAC beginning at 10:00 AM. There, attendees can sit back and enjoy a commemorative celebration featuring various poems, music and dance.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outdoor Learning Trail Clean-Up
- Turn Around Columbus in partnership with the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission will spend this MLK Day in service to the community. They invite the public to join them for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outdoor Learning Trail Clean-up Project. This project serves to beautify the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outdoor Learning Trail, a 5.2 mile streetscape encompassing some of the most important African-American historic sites in Columbus. Starting at 8:00 AM, Volunteers can help by removing trash and debris from the historic trails. Volunteer teams will meet at one of two locations (Muscogee County School District Building or A. J. McClung YMCA) and then unite at the midway point for a tailgate lunch, trail history lesson, and sign unveiling.
Alpha Onward & Upward MLK, Jr. Unity Award Breakfast
- This event will be held at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center and starts at 7:00 AM
Free admission to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum
- The Equal Justice Initiative has announced it will offer free admission into the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in downtown Montgomery on Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the work he did for racial equality in America.