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Amelia Islander

Martin Luther King Day is January 20

Jan 15, 2014 02:00AM
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation,

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. 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. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Each year Amelia Island celebrates Martin Luther King with a special breakfast and inspirational speaker; this year it’s held on January 18th at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The event will be held in Burns Hall at 9 a.m. Tickets are $20 per person. For more information contact Maybelle Kirkland-Brown at (904) 415-6110.