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The Importance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on January 20, 2014 @ 11:48AM
Created on January 19, 2014 @ 6:49PM

Equality: It's something many of us find ourselves thankful for in one of the world's greatest countries.

Many federal offices will be closed on Monday to take the time to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s march for equality during the 1950's and 1960's.

So where do you stand on the road to equality?

Most people agree that we've come a long way since Dr. King's long and hard-fought battle for equal rights for African Americans, but some people think we still face many equality issues in today's world, and have a long way to go.

Historians ranked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as one of America's powerhouses when it comes to talking about equality and civil rights. During the 1950's and 1960's, he fought for the civil rights for African Aamericans who couldn't eat at the same places as white people, go to school, or even use the same bathroom.

Some of you still have memories of what times were like back in those days.

"I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's, and it was a lot different then than it was today. We didn't get to go to school together until I was in junior high. Neither side really seemed to mind it," said Larry Downs, Harrison County resident.
When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, it helped give more freedoms and liberties to those who had been oppressed by their own government for several years, but some some civil rights advocates argue we're still living the same battle when it comes to gay rights; almost like it's a civil rights battle of our time.

Most of the people 5 News spoke with think you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but some of you just can agree with same sex rights at all.

"With gay rights, I do think there's more work to be done. I think that they should have equal opportunities as everyone else, and they shouldn't be judged if they want to get married," said Susan Brennan-Brooks, a teacher.
"I'm on the other side of gay rights. I don't think two men should lay together," said Downs.

While the gay rights issue is effecting Americans around the country, many of you still think there needs to be more awareness on the march for equality, and think we need to get everyone involved.

"I think there needs to be more community outreach and involvement,
 and working together just to make the whole community better," said Brenda Satterfield, Grafton resident.

Martin Luther King  Jr. Day was declared a federal holiday back in 1983, and while many people said they enjoy the three-day weekend, they said it's also a good day to reflect on what they're thankful for the most.

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