There will be no mail delivery Monday and most libraries, federal, county, state and city offices are closed, as are the College of Western Idaho and Boise State University.
Boise State was the center of attention early Monday as the university kicked-off its celebration of Dr. King's birthday, with its annual poster-making workshop at the Student Union. Later, attendees will participate in a late-morning march from the campus, up Capitol Boulevard and to the Idaho Capitol for a rally on the steps of the Statehouse.
[image-2]Francisco Salinas, director for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Boise State University, is the driving force behind Boise State's "MLK Living Legacy Celebration," which begins Monday and continues for the following nine days. Events include an "Obama Appreciation Night" Thursday, Jan. 19 and a keynote address from author/TV host Tavis Smiley on Monday, Jan. 23.
"[Monday, Jan. 16] is really a day on, not a day off. Come join our poster-making event. Join our march to the Statehouse," Salinas told Boise Weekly. "It's an opportunity to honor a legacy that challenges us to create a better world. ... If you shrink from that responsibility, it's on you."
The Gem State has a checkered history when it comes to honoring Dr. King. Although the official U.S. holiday was signed into law in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan, it wasn't until 1990 when Idaho became the 47th state in the nation to recognize the holiday. The observance followed a robust legislative debate in which some lawmakers questioned the importance of Dr. King. A compromise pacified those opponents when lawmakers agreed to call the third Monday of January "Idaho Human Rights Day."