RUSTBURG — Now in its 34th year, the planned annual Campbell County community observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday continues to be the biggest MLK Day celebration in the area, according to Reginald Herndon, president of the Campbell County chapter of the NAACP. The event is set for 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20 and is expected to again draw scores to Rustburg High School. “It goes without saying Dr. King is one of the greatest Americans — he is a symbol of what this country stands for — it’s great to honor him,” Herndon, a Rustburg resident, said. 

The Rev. Derrick Robertson, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Altavista, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. His planned theme is “Don’t Just Dream It, Live It.”

Herndon said there will be an inspirational and entertaining program, including singing by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mass Choir, naming of school MLK essay contest winners and a stirring rendition of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

James Jones of Lynchburg returns to again give recite King’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech. King originally delivered the speech — often considered his best-known one — on Aug. 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. before a crowd of 250,000 people, according to historical accounts. Although the civil rights movement had been going on for many years then, the speech was important because it focused more attention on the movement and made more people familiar with King. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” King said in the speech.

The Campbell County branch of the NAACP meets 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month at the Citizen Services Building in Rustburg. For information on the MLK program or Campbell NAACP, call Chapter President Herndon at 434-316-3689.