- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire residents are remembering Martin Luther King Jr. through speeches and doing good deeds.

“Since my childhood, where I witnessed segregation firsthand, the principle that discrimination has no place in our country has stayed close to my heart,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Monday. “In fact, one of my proudest days as governor was signing into law the bill making Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a state holiday.”

Shaheen, who was speaking at several celebrations in Portsmouth and Manchester, said she also understands that King’s dream has yet to be fully achieved.

“While it’s true that because of his efforts it is no longer acceptable as a matter of law to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender or ethnicity, it’s also an unfortunate reality that all Americans still do not enjoy equal protections under the law because of their sexual orientation or that social mobility is slowly grinding to a halt, she said.

In other events, Gov. Maggie Hassan spoke in Hollis at a Southern New Hampshire Outreach for Black Unity breakfast and was addressing a St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral celebration in Manchester.

Dr. King’s vision of equality, inclusion and peace that would lead to a brighter future for our people is a true reflection of our shared belief in the value and freedom of every person,” she said in a statement.

In memory of King, AmeriCorps programs across the state are holding a food drive - encouraging people to volunteer on Monday to honor King’s legacy and make it a “day on, not a day off.”

AmeriCorps members and Saint Anselm College students also are gathering at the school’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics to engage in a reflection of both King’s life and the statewide need for food after the holidays.

AmeriCorps engages more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs.

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