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Martin Luther King Jr. Day Command Center

South Sound closures and events honoring the civil rights leader

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On Aug. 28, 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the world. Thrust from rural Birmingham, Ala. - where he'd been arrested and jailed for protesting racial discrimination against blacks - into the national spotlight, King organized a massive march on Washington, D.C. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the handsome and charismatic Baptist minister gave one of the most stirring oratories in U.S. history - his "I Have a Dream" speech, in which King called for America to "rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice." Like his life's work, King's words intoned his hope for freedom, nonviolence, justice and interracial unity.

King's famed speech is credited with mobilizing supporters and inspiring the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which made racial discrimination in public places - such as theaters, restaurants and hotels - illegal. In 1964, King also won the Nobel Peace Prize. But King's goal was acceptance for all people, regardless of race or nationality. And his contention that all human beings are truly equal is as powerful and vital today as it was in his tumultuous era.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 21, and several local institutions and venues will hold commemorations and celebrations to honor the life of the civil rights leader.

Pierce Transit MLK Day Schedule

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, Pierce Transit services will operate on a regular weekday schedule. Pierce Transit administrative offices and the Bus Shop locations on Commerce Street and at the Tacoma Dome Station will be closed. The Lakewood Bus Shop sales office will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For additional information visit the Pierce Transit website at

Intercity Transit Olympia MLK Day Schedule

Intercity Transit will operate full service on Monday, Jan. 21, including Intercity Transit's regular bus, Olympia Express, Dial-A-Lift and Village Vans transportation service. Intercity Transit Customer Service, located at the Olympia Transit Center in downtown Olympia, will operate regular hours, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the holiday. The Intercity Transit business office will also be open for business. For transit route and schedule information, visit or contact Intercity Transit Customer Service at 360.786.1881.

City of Tacoma Stuff

Monday, Jan. 21

Administrative offices in the Tacoma Municipal Building complex and in other City of Tacoma facilities will close Monday, Jan. 21, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. The City's landfill, recycling center and household hazardous waste facility will open as normally scheduled Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and garbage, recycling and yard/food waste pick-ups will not be affected. Police and fire personnel will also be on duty, and animal control personnel will be on duty too.  In regards to closures, you won't be able to access senior centers, Tacoma Public Library branches and Tacoma Municipal Court.

City of Olympia stuff

All city of Olympia offices including City Hall, Olympia Municipal Court, Olympia Probation Services and The Olympia Center will be closed Monday, Jan. 21. Customers shopping downtown are reminded that they do not need to pay the meter on city-recognized holidays. Parks will be open. Organics will be collected. But, you still can't get horizontal on city sidewalks

City of Tacoma & Olympia Parking

There will be no parking enforcement in both cities Monday, Jan. 21 because you can park your as free on the streets.

Washington State History Museum

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Washington State History Museum and the KeyBank Foundation have partnered to offer free admission Monday, Jan. 21. Following the conclusion of the MLK Day celebration at the Tacoma Convention Center, the Washington State History Museum invites the public to spend the afternoon touring exhibits and attending a live performance by Book-It Theater of Seattle. Never Forgotten tells the story of a young African boy who is stolen by slave traders. His father calls upon the four elements of nature to bring his son home.  Although he never returns, Musafa carries on his father's blacksmithing trade in captivity. Wind carries this message back to his father in Africa, who finds comfort knowing his son is alive and carrying on the traditions of his homeland in the New World. The program will begin at 2 p.m.

UWT Unity Breakfast

Monday, Jan. 21
Breakfast and unity are two things we could all use more of. While that may be a somewhat questionable way to start a blurb about an event celebrating Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration, we're rolling with it. Besides, what's really important is only that you take note of this worthy event, presented by the University of Washington Tacoma and the Black Student Union in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  At the 2013 Unity Breakfast ($5-$15, 253.692.4501) from 8-10:30 a.m. in the William W. Philip Hall at the University of Washington Tacoma Carolyn McKinstry, will share her experiences as a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963 and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Bates March

Monday, Jan. 21

Bates Technical College students and staff and community members will begin their traditional march to Tacoma's big MLK Day celebration at 10 a.m. The marchers will gather at 9 a.m. for refreshments at Bates' downtown campus on 11th Street and Yakima Avenue. A shuttle will return the marchers to the campus following the event.

25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Monday, Jan. 21

Each year the City of Tacoma hosts one of the best and most orchestrated MLK Day celebrations in the region, gathering for words, music and inspiration at the Tacoma Dome Events Center and coming together as a community to honor and trumpet Dr. King's life and vision for peace and equality. Tacoma's huge Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration moves from the Tacoma Dome to the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center (1500 Broadway) with Dr. Clayborne Carson, executive director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, as the keynote speaker asking everyone to think in earnest about the power of the individual to bring about lasting positive change for this year's theme, "One Man, One Dream, One Legacy." The free event begins at 11 a.m. As usual, Tacoma's MLK Day celebration will be telecast live on TV Tacoma. Community members are encouraged to bring a non-perishable donation for the annual MLK Food Drive - with the food gathered going to the Emergency Food Network.

LINK: University of Puget Sound welcomes Olympian and Civil rights legend John Carlos Tuesday

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