JONESVILLE — The day set aside to honor America’s greatest civil rights leader will now be a paid holiday for employees of the Town of Jonesville.
The Jonesville Town Council voted unanimously this week to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday for the town’s employees beginning in 2014. With the addition of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, town now have a total of 10 paid holidays including New Years Day, Easter Monday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Mayor Ernest Moore said council decided that since the town already observes King Day by closing its municipal offices, it should make it a paid holiday for town employees.
“Council brought it up, we talked about it and we decided that since we are closed anyway on that day, we should add it as a paid holiday,” Moore said.
King Day is already a paid holiday for the employees of Union County, the City of Union, and the Town of Carlisle. It is also a holiday though not a paid one for employees of the Town of Lockhart.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday marking the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is celebrated the third Monday of January each year. This year it was celebrated on January 21 and will be celebrated on January 20 in 2014.
King, who was born on January 15, 1929, was a clergyman, advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience, and peace activist. During his lifetime, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to combat racial inequality through nonviolence. After his assassination on April 4, 1968, King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal (2004).
What eventually became a 15-year campaign for a federal holiday honoring King began shortly after his assassination, achieving success in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. The holiday was first celebrated on January 20, 1986, and, since 2000, has official been observed by all 50 states.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is also recognized in Toronto, Canada, and Hiroshima, Japan.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.