Today is the official federal holiday honoring the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year the civil rights leader would have turned 81 years old. A week of special events have been scheduled.
Events organized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. City-Wide Celebration Committee, headed by the indefatigable Debra Mitchell-Braxton, began with last Thursday's birthday extravaganza. On Sunday, a community celebration featured area pastors and choirs. Today, several events are scheduled, starting with a breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Osage Community Centre, a civil rights program at 10 a.m. and a noon luncheon. The committee's final event today, a youth gala at West Park Mall, will feature tributes from children.
Southeast Missouri State University's celebration dinner is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Show Me Center. The speaker will be Christopher Gardner, author of "The Pursuit of Happyness" that was made into a popular movie in 2006. This event is nearly sold out.
All of these events help us remember both the work of King and many others who devoted themselves to the civil rights movement that flowered in the 1960s. Realizing King's dream engages all people of all backgrounds and creeds. These special events call our attention to those lofty goals.