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Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Twenty years ago Monday, the nation honored civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. UTM is celebrating the occasion with demonstrations and movie showings.

President Ronald Reagan signed the bill to create the holiday on Nov. 2, 1983. It was observed for the first time Jan. 20, 1986.

The day is marked by demonstrations for peace, social justice and racial and class equality, as well as a national day of volunteer community service.

This year’s theme promoted by the government-funded Corporation for National & Community Service is “Make it a Day On, Not a Day Off,” calling on citizens to spend time working to improve their communities.

“We encourage all Americans to make the King Holiday a day on, not a day off,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Dr. King once said, ‘Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.’ The King Holiday affords the ideal opportunity to remember the legacy of a great American by being one yourself.”

UTM’s Office of Minority Affairs, the Harold Conner Scholars and the Black Student Association are sponsoring a candlelight ceremony in honor of King at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in Centennial Circle. The public is invited to attend.

In February, the Office of Minority Affairs will be showing two of three selected films in Watkins Auditorium. Both movies begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 and 8.

For more information, contact Teresa Woody, director of the Office of Minority Affairs, at (731) 881-7282 or

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Martin Luther King Jr.