Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.
“Patch” rounds up celebrations and events happening around MLK Day in and near Hazelwood, Florissant, Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights.
Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 82 on Sunday. He was born Michael Luther King Jr. but later changed his name to Martin, according to Nobelprize.org.
Best known for his work in building racial equality and harmony, King received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35, making him the youngest man to have received the award.
He was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1963, and received five honorary degrees in the course of his life. The protests he led between 1957 and 1968 in Birmingham, AL caught the attention of the entire world and inspired his manifesto called “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
In August of 1963, he directed a peaceful march on Washington, D.C. and brought with him 250,000 people, to who he delivered his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at his Memphis, TN hotel, where he planned to lead a protest march to help the striking garbage workers in Memphis.
Several events are being held in the area to honor Dr. King and his life’s work.
Celebrating the Life and Work of Martin Luther King Jr.
- St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley is hosting its annual celebration to honor King at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The celebration will be held in the Terry M. Fischer Theater at 3400 Pershall Road. The theme will be “Dr. King’s Unfinished Business: Promoting Economic Empowerment.” Carol Daniel, KMOX-AM radio anchor and co-host of KMOV-TV’s “Great Day St. Louis,” will be the keynote speaker. Lawson Elementary fourth-grader Grace Bishop and Jimmaya Bailey, Adrienne Holloway, William Montgomery and teacher RaShawn Johnson of the Ferguson-Florissant school district will present their oratories on Jan. 15 at the event. They are the winners of the North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest. For more information, check out the St. Louis Community College website.
- The Hazelwood Community Enrichment Commission will celebrate the life and work of King on Sunday at its 10th annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Civic Center East, located at 8969 Dunn Road in Hazelwood. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson will speak, along with Miss Hazelwood, Samantha Rieke and several other prominent speakers. For more information, visit the City of Hazelwood’s website or contac the Hazelwood Community Enrichment Commission at 314-731-0980.
- Members of St. Norbert Catholic Church in Florissant and other local churches will attend the 36th Annual Archdiocesan Mass & Commemoration to Honor the Birth and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Services will take place at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, located at 4431 Lindell Blvd. in St. Louis. The event is open to the public and will feature a reception and an awards and presentation ceremony following the mass. For more information, call 314-367-7929.
Give Back: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Several organizations in the St. Louis area will gather to perform community service on Monday, rather than taking a day off. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service efforts are a part of United We Serve, President Obama’s national call to service initiative that calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to come up with solutions to the most urgent national problems.
Here are some service opportunies in the area.
- Burlington Coat Factory, located at the St. Louis Mills Mall in Hazelwood, is participating in the movement with its fifth annual Warm Coats + Warm Hearts Drive, which runs until Jan. 16. Residents are asked to donate any gently worn coat to the cause, which can be left in collection boxes in the front of the store. And, those who donate will receive a 10 percent off coupon for their next purchase.
- The University of Missouri-St. Louis campus will also participate with a campus event it has invited the community to attend. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the opening event starts at 8:30. At 9 a.m., groups will disperse to various service sites to volunteer, and there will be a 1 p.m. lunch and wrap-up session. For more information, visit the UMSL website.
To find other service locations and events, visit the All for Good website to search for opportunities nearby.
School and Government Offices
- All public and most private schools in the area will be closed on Martin Luther King Day. Hope Montessori Academy in Creve Coeur will remain open.
- City offices will be closed in Creve Coeur, Florissant and Maryland Heights.
- The Maryland Heights Fitness Centre will remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The City of Hazelwood’s offices will be open during normal business hours.