Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Joliet
Tell us what this holiday means to you and how you will celebrate?
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Many, including a group in Joliet, will use the national holiday to honor the civil rights activist by giving back to the community, be it through removing graffiti, picking up litter or doing other service projects.
(It's not too late to volunteer to make a difference in Joliet on MLK Day.)
Because it's both a federal and state holiday, there will be no mail service, government buildings will be closed, and most banks will not be open. Downtown street and deck parking is free, but Joliet City Hall is closed.
However, Waste Management garbage collection will not be affected so leave your cans at the curb just as you would on a normal week.
Because many use the day as an opportunity to focus on King and his life's work, we'd like to know what Martin Luther King Day means to you? Will you be doing something to commemorate his legacy?
The Holiday's History
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, now a U.S. holiday, took 15 years to create.
Legislation was first proposed by U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.
The bill was stalled, but Conyers and U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York) pushed for the bill to be passed in every legislative session. It finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington. President Ronald Reagan signed it into law, making it the first national holiday honoring someone who was not an elected official.
Despite the national standing, it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states such as Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day and Civil 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 below.