By Frank Denzler Rushville Republican
---- — Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed Monday. Although schools will still be in session, local, county and state offices will be closed. The Rushville City Street Department will also observe the holiday and Monday trash will be collected Tuesday.
The third Monday in January became a Federal holiday in 1983 with the signature of then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and was officially observed for the first time three years later in 1986.
King was assassinated in 1968, and prior to his death, was the chief spokesman for non-violent civil rights. Following his death, legislators attempted to honor King with a national holiday in 1979 although initially, the idea was met with resistance. Even after passed into legislation, all 50 states did not recognize the third Monday in January as a legal holiday until 2000.
Although no local Martin Luther King Jr. Day program will be held, Rushville resident Billy Ray Goins, said the local school system does a good job of remembering the significance and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr.
“Let’s face it, the King assassination happened a long time ago. To students today, it is just a part of their history class. During a recent conversation I had with RCHS principal Rob Hadley, Ed Small made a video of Martin Luther King Jr. and it will be played Monday for students,” Goins said.
He continued by saying that having grown up during many of those times, Martin Luther King Jr. Day holds another meaning.
“King was a leader who did great things and broke down a number of barriers that have stood the test of time,” Goins said.
Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey also passed along his thoughts on the contributions King made.
“It is important we recognize the significant contributions Martin Luther King Jr. made for all those who were suffering racial discrimination. These achievements have become his gift to those who continue after to fight all forms of discrimination in this country,” Pavey said.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.