MLK Day 2022: Arlington's Observance, What's Open And Closed

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ARLINGTON, MA — Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Monday, Jan. 17 this year, and a variety of services will be closed around the city on the day.

King's birthday is Jan. 15, but the federal holiday celebrating the civil rights leader is observed on the third Monday of January each year.

The history of the MLK holiday in America is a complicated one.

Almost immediately after King's assassination in 1968, activists began pushing for a holiday celebrating his Jan. 15 birthday. However, the official national holiday wasn't signed into law until 1983 by President Ronald Reagan.

The first federal MLK Day was observed on the third Monday of January in 1986, but many states held out. Arizona didn't recognize the day until 1992, when the state lost its rights to host the Super Bowl after voters in Arizona failed to make the day a paid holiday.

The last state to adopt the holiday? New Hampshire, in 1999.

Arlington will observe MLK Day this year with a virtual broadcast on ACMi due to COVID-19 restrictions. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten, the ninth president of Simmons University.

Watch live on at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 or on the public channels: RCN 629, Verizon 31, Comcast 8. Also available on the government channels: RCN 614, Verizon 26, Comcast 22. The event will also be streamed on Arlington Human Rights Commission Facebook page.

Donations: Checks can be mailed to MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. BIRTHDAY OBSERVANCE COMMITTEE OF ARLINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS, P.O. Box 320, Arlington, MA 02476 or donations can be made online at Arlington MLK Jr. Birthday Observance Committee:

Here is what will be open and closed on MLK Day:

  • Town Offices: Closed

  • Public Schools: Closed

  • Public Libraries: Closed.

  • Post Offices: Closed, No Mail Delivery

    • UPS: Regular service

    • FedEx: Regular service

  • Courts: Closed


  • MBTA subway and bus lines will operate on a Saturday schedule, save for a handful of bus routes, but the commuter rail is running on a regular weekday schedule. Holiday MBTA Service Schedules

Trash and recycling:

  • Delayed by one day.

This article originally appeared on the Arlington Patch

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