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Freedom Train to Roll Through the Peninsula

From riding the Freedom Train to pausing for a moment of reflection, how you will celebrate this holiday?

Monday, Jan. 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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. 

On Monday, Jan. 21, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley will charter Caltrain as its “Freedom Train” Monday, Jan. 21 up and down the Peninsula. 

Check out a video from 2011 to the right. 

The train will depart the San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station at 9:30 a.m., making stops at the Sunnyvale station at 9:45 a.m., Palo Alto station at 9:59 a.m. and San Mateo station at 10:22 a.m., arriving in San Francisco at approximately 10:55 a.m. 

There is no special southbound service.  However, Freedom Train tickets will be accepted on southbound trains departing San Francisco after 1 p.m.

Freedom Train tickets are sold only by the association (Caltrain fare media is NOT valid). 

For Freedom Train schedule information or to purchase tickets, visitwww.scvmlk.org, email mlkinfo@yahoo.com or call 408.861.5323.  If Freedom Train tickets are sold out, people can buy a regular Caltrain ticket and take any regularly scheduled northbound train to join festivities in San Francisco.

So, tell us in the comments—What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy?

The Holiday's History

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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