PALM SPRINGS — A special tribute celebrating the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is set for Sunday, Jan. 20 in Palm Springs.

The city of Palm Springs’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee has planned and organized the tribute. The event is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of the slain civil rights leader.

The remembrance ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. commemoration at Church of St. Paul in the Desert, 125 W. El Alameda.

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a public holiday. This year it will be observed on Monday, Jan. 21. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Martin

Nichelle Webb

This year’s keynote speaker for the Palm Springs commemoration is Nichelle Webb, 1st Sgt. U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.). Webb currently serves as the ROTC instructor at Desert Hot Springs
High School.

Student speaker is Palm Springs High School senior Lilian Diaz.

Local singing artist Keisha D will also perform.

“The City of Palm Springs is proud to invite the entire Coachella Valley community to our 26th annual celebration of Dr. King’s extraordinary accomplishments,” Jarvis Crawford, who chairs the City’s Commemoration Committee, said in a prepared statement. “Everyone is
welcome.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service encourages Americans to, “Make it a Day ON, Not a Day Off!” There are many ways you can participate in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. You can join a project already planned in your community; you can develop your own project with family, friends, and neighbors; or if you work for an organization that mobilizes volunteers, you can make King Day the day you train new volunteers to be deployed throughout the year.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law, according to Wikipedia. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.