MLK holiday: Just another shopping day?

January 24, 2014

My last Air Force assignment was as the Secretary of Defense's personal representative to the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. I was privileged to work with Mrs. King and members of the King family.

The commission was established in part because Mrs. King was not a strong advocate of, or supporter of, a Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday. She perceived, and rightly so, that it would become just another "shopping day" off across America.

The commission attempted to create a different focus and theme for the day, but it was inevitable with time that it would for the most part become what Mrs. King most feared...another shopping day. Reflect on this year’s just celebrated MLK Jr. holiday. Do you agree that Mrs. King was right?

Steve Hyle

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