Honor MLK Day in New Canaan with the United Methodist Church

The annual town-wide service honoring MLK Day will take place Monday, January 20, starting at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend and celebrate the life and message of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The service will feature keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Robert Perry of the Union Baptist Church in Stamford. Music will be provided by the Serendipity Chorale and Pivot Ministries Men's Choir. New Canaan High School seniors and ABC House residents Christopher Andrews and Myles Henderson will also give their own reflections on the day.

The day's celebration was organized by the Interfaith of New Canaan, an organization consisting of officials and religious representatives from around town.

Refreshments will be served following the service.

The Holiday's History

For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to give back and serve the community, be it through removing graffiti or picking up litter in a local park.

For others, it’s an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work. And for others, it’s a time to just kick back and enjoy the prolonged weekend.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, now a U.S. holiday, took 15 years to create.

Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.

The bill was stalled, but Conyers, along with Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington. 

Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day. 

Now, the Corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.


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