Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s a federal, Missouri, county and city holiday and is the observance of Dr. King’s birthday.
He was a civil rights leader who protested racial discrimination and advocated non-violence. He was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, as he was supporting striking sanitation workers.
Neither the Missouri Senate nor the Missouri House are in session today, as they observe the holiday. Most federal, state, county and city offices are closed, with the exception of emergency services like police, fire and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Trash is not being collected today in Columbia and is being delayed by one day for the rest of the week.
Then-President Ronald Reagan signed bipartisan legislation from U.S. Rep. Katie Hall (D-Indiana) in 1983, which created the federal holiday. It was first observed in January 1986.
Tonight is also your opportunity to participate in the annual MLK Jr. candlelight walk and memorial celebration in Columbia. The city’s Parks and Recreation department is holding the event. The candlelight walk will begin at 6:30 tonight at the Armory on East Ash. Participants will then proceed by candlelight to St. Luke United Methodist Church at 204 East Ash for the 7 pm memorial celebration.