Did you know Illinois was the first state to recognize MLK Day, honoring the civil rights leader assassinated in 1968? Illinois began recognizing the holiday in 1973, 13 years before it became a federal holiday. Iowa began recognizing the special day as a state holiday in 1989. Here’s a peek at some of the key Martin Luther King Jr. events throughout Iowa and Illinois tomorrow, Jan. 20:


CEDAR RAPIDS – Martin Luther King, Jr Day Celebration, $1 admission to the museum and educational opportunities. 10 am–4 pm, African American Museum of Iowa, 55 12th Ave. SE

DES MOINES – MLK Day of Service. Projects for all ages. 10 am to noon, Community Youth Concepts, 1446 Martin Luther King Pkwy.

DAVENPORT – Community Celebration, day of service 8 am – 5 pm. Youth workshop 10 am, celebration 11 am. Free, St. Ambrose University, 518 Locust St., Davenport

DUBUQUE – 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast. Keynote speech by Soong-Chan Rah of North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. 7:30 am, $25 adults, $10 children, Grand River Center, 500 Bell St.

IOWA CITY – Day of Service 2020, March leading to service projects at various locations, followed by a celebratory program at the Mercer Park Gym, including entertainment performances, a keynote speaker, and free lunch! 9 am – 2 pm, Mercer Park Gym, 2701 Bradford Dr.

SIOUX CITY – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration. Community choir, speakers, art const, dance/mime, to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day, coordinated by the Sioux City Chapter NAACP. 7 pm 4600 Hamilton Blvd.


CHICAGO – King Day Festival: Tomorrow is Today. Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and featuring performance by Chicago-based sound/visual artist Damon Locks and his Black Monument Ensemble. Movement workshop by the Move Me Soul dancers, spoken word from the Rebirth/Reborn Poetry Ensemble. Families can add their own messages of hope for the future to silkscreened postcards from multidisciplinary artist William Estrada’s Mobile Street Art Cart. Free admission to all Illinois residents, with activities in the Ryan Learning Center. 10:30 am – 3 pm, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

DECATUR – Commemorative march and celebration to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Meet at the Decatur Civic Center at noon, program and lunch at Church of the Living God, Temple # 1 Church (1915 N Martin Luther King Jr Dr), Decatur.

GALENA – MLK Day Celebration featuring stories, games and a community service craft centered on the themes of diversity, peace and community togetherness. For children in grades K-6. 2 pm, Galena Public Library, 601 South Bench St., Galena.

PEORIA – 2nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Free admission to the Peoria Playhouse. Community service projects including no-sew lap blankets for seniors with a handmade card; collaborative artworks for local senior living facilities; “blessing bags” for foster children served by local organization FamilyCore.

ROCK ISLAND – 37th Annual Memorial Service & Awards in honor of the late Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” featuring speakers, performances and student/community awards.