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Holiday Hours: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
01:02PM / Sunday, January 17, 2021
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Coretta Scott King, left, watches President Ronald Reagan sign the bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day is being celebrated Monday, Jan. 18. It is a federal holiday to commemorate the birthday of the civil rights activist born Jan. 15, 1929. It is observed on the third Monday in January.

King, a Baptist minister, led the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by espousing nonviolent protest. His best-known address, the "I Have a Dream" speech, was given in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of 250,000 who participated in the March on Washington. The 1964 Nobel Prize winner was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

While the reverend was born in Atlanta, he has ties to Massachusetts. He earned his doctorate from Boston University and met and married his wife, Coretta Scott, in Boston. The state's U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke sponsored the first bill to declare a holiday in his honor in the 1970s. MLK Day was first observed as a federal holiday in 1986 but a number of states, particularly in the South and West, did not add it to their list of state holidays until some years later.

While federal and state offices are closed, only about a third of businesses give their employees the time off.

Northern Berkshire Community Coalition will hold its annual Day of Service on Monday but at a distance. The few activities will be done in a socially distanced manner and the annual Peacemaker Award will be presented virtually. 

Berkshire Community College plans to hold its annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service event completely virtually on Jan. 18 over the Zoom platform. This event is co-sponsored by the Berkshire Branch of the NAACP.

A list of activities can be found here.


Closed:
Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks
Stock markets
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Some offices and businesses
BRTA is not running

Open:
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars
Convenience stores
iBerkshires' offices

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