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Martin Luther King, Jr Day celebrated Jan. 16
People gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Columbus on Jan. 16.
The city of Columbus partnered with the Franklin County Commissioners to sponsor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration.
The theme of this year’s program was “Celebrate the Legacy: Getting on the Bus.”
The celebration kicked off with a ceremonial march across the Broad Street Bridge to Veterans Memorial. Mayor Michael Coleman, elected officials, community leaders and local residents were among the crowd.
The activities included the Dream Choir who sang “We Can Make A Difference;” various skits that depicted the segregation that took place during the civil rights movement; and Ballet Met, who performed an ensemble titled, “Standing.”
Student art work was displayed in the MLK Student Art Exhibit along with community volunteer booths from organizations including HandsOn Central Ohio, The American Red Cross and COSI encouraging youths to get involved in service related work.
“We focused on education for the theme of this program because education is the key to our future and this year, our bicentennial year, when 200 years ago our city was founded in Franklinton, we mark this year the year of our youth,” Coleman said. “We will do what is necessary to uplift them, to encourage them and to make sure they have the education they need to succeed in the future.”
Miss Black Ohio Talented Teen Dominique Jackson served as a role model as she volunteered passing out tickets and assisting in the festivities.
The night concluded with the Dr. Martin Luther King Children’s Choir and a closing song from Talisha Holmes singing, “Happy Birthday” in an upbeat tempo.
“The best addition to education so far is service learning. Every year I look forward to this celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King, we must use our voices to continue the fight for equality for all of our residents,” Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks said.
The King Holiday Bill
On Aug. 2, 1983, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill creating a legal public holiday in honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There had been little discussion of the bill in the House itself and little awareness among the American public that Congress was even considering such a bill, but it was immediately clear that the U.S. Senate should take up the legislation soon after the Labor Day recess. Although there was reluctance back and forth on whether such a holiday was relevant, the House passed the King Holiday Bill by an overwhelming vote of 338-90.
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