Government holiday today, Monday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has declared Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day (Monday, Jan. 21st), as a holiday in American Samoa. All government offices are closed and ASG employees who are required to work will be paid required wages in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Besides ASG, several businesses are also closed including the three local commercial banks; however, other companies including StarKist Samoa are operating on Monday.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day — which is observed on the third Monday of January — is also a federal holiday, which means all federal government agencies — not currently affected by the partial federal shutdown — will be closed, including the US Post Office in Fagatogo.
In observance of the holiday, Samoa News will not publish on Monday but will return on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd.
SHUTDOWN AND DISUNITY THEMES OF MLK CELEBRATION IN ATLANTA
ATLANTA (AP) — A commemorative service for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that was nearly imperiled by the federal government shutdown was held Monday morning in Atlanta at a church called King’s “spiritual home.”
King’s daughter, Rev. Bernice King, said in her remarks that the annual service at Ebenezer Baptist Church came during a moment of crisis in America, while condemning gridlock and partisanship in Washington that led to the shutdown.
“Our humanity is literally on the verge of digressing to two Americas and becoming the dis-United State of America,” she said.
King also slammed what she called “the powerful resurgence of nationalistic and white supremacist ideologies” around the world.
The event was attended by Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue, Democratic Congresswoman Lucy McBath and Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida in February.
Perdue, who is white, recounted growing up in Georgia during segregation and praised King as an inspiring leader who changed the world through courage.
“He gave us hope during some of this country’s darkest days,” Perdue said of King. “Our country has overcome a lot, but there is much left to be done.”
Gonzalez sat just behind the speaker’s podium throughout much of the televised and livestreamed service, a highly visible position for the high school student turned gun-control activist.
Ebenezer Church’s current pastor, Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, also took aim at the government shutdown, calling this “a time of narrow vision and petty politicians.”
The annual service at Ebenezer Baptist was in doubt until Delta Air Lines gave the National Park Service a grant to reopen the site. Delta is headquartered in Atlanta.
In a statement posted to LinkedIn, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the grant would keep the sites open from Jan. 19 to Feb. 3, the day of the upcoming Super Bowl game in Atlanta.
“These historic landmarks represent the strength of our community and should always be made available for the public to enjoy,” Bastian said.
The church is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park located in the “Sweet Auburn” district of downtown Atlanta. The civil rights leader was co-pastor with his father at the church from 1960 until his assassination in 1968.
The celebration took on special significance as Jan. 15 marked what would have been King’s 90th birthday.