The History of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Written by Amber Baldwin


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Every third Monday in January the United States celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  This federal holiday was first observed in 1986.  It also became the first holiday that is centered around someone who is not a president and someone who is African American. 

Dr. Richanne C. Mankey, Defiance College President, shared her thoughts on the importance of Martin Luther King Jr Day by stating, “Yes, it is important to honor the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

“His inspiration was for humanity to become increasingly more inclusive” Dr. Mankey continued.

“He spoke to the character of human beings rather than other features like race or ethnicity. His quote about his children and the world into which they would grow up was powerful:  “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character..” from his I Have a Dream speech.” quoted Dr. Mankey.

Even though Dr. King spoke powerful words and lead a life of strong conviction, the celebration of the holiday took almost 20 years.

The federal holiday was first introduced to legislation on April 8, 1968, four days after King’s death, by Representative John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan. 

Then, in the 1970’s the support for this holiday increased, but it was not enough. The bill lost by five votes in the House in November of 1979. The people who were in disagreement viewed King as someone who created trouble, so they did not want to give him his own holiday. 

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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King, who was married to King, still decided to keep fighting and ended up testifying before Congress many times. 

Stevie Wonder even worked with Coretta Scott King to gain even more support.  In 1982 both of them brought a petition with 6 million signatures that were all for the holiday to the Speaker of the House. 

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Coretta Scott King and Stevie Wonder accepting an award

The bill was finally signed by President Ronald Reagan on November 3, 1983, to begin the holiday in 1986. 

By 1986 seventeen states had already created a holiday for Marth Luther King, Jr.  Now many businesses, government offices, and schools are closed on this federal holiday. 

“For most of my life, it was a day off school that I didn’t really understand. Now, I like to reflect on one of the best activists the world had ever seen”, a fellow college student remarked about how they spent the day.

However, there are still some cities in some states like Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina that do not observe the holiday and use it as a make-up school day.

Challenges Faced by DC Students Who Stay During Breaks

Written by: MaKayah Long

The sidewalks snaking across campus appear abandoned. Buildings are dark and quiet. Nearly empty parking lots signify to outsiders that the college is closed for winter break. Although classes are not in session during these times, a significant number of students can still be found on the Defiance College campus over academic breaks.

More than 80 students registered for winter break housing according to the Office of Residence Life. While most of these students are winter athletes, some have other reasons to stick around. Sophomore Mikeaya McLaurin stayed on campus in order to keep working at her local job. McLaurin shared that the best part of staying during the break was “that it was relaxing and silent.” She notes that the worst part is that “the break is very long”. Because of COVID, winter break is an extra week longer than normal.

The dining hall is closed over breaks, meaning students are responsible for purchasing and preparing their own meals. McLaurin stated another issue is with all the necessary purchases of “so much fast food.

If students do not wish to get take out, cooking areas are provided by the college however, there are challenges and differences in cooking in a residence hall than at home.

Residential students are allowed a microwave and mini-fridge in their rooms, but no appliances with exposed heating elements such as toasters or electric skillets. Therefore most cooking needs to be done elsewhere.

Both McReynolds and Whitney residence halls offer students access to an oven, stove, and microwave. In the three story residence halls, transporting food, dishes, and cookware back and forth for each meal can become quite the chore depending on what floor the student lives.

Dishes must be done promptly, as any left in the sink over 24 hours can be thrown away. There is not a set supply of dishes, utensils, or cookware for students to use in the kitchens.

When asked if she could change one thing about living on campus over break, Mikeaya McLaurin suggested “a kitchen on every floor, so I don’t have to go to the second floor to cook”.

“That extra cost can be difficult to manage for some students,” said Lisa Marsalek, Dean of Student Life. “We have been able to provide some food assistance thanks to our Jacket Care Corner food pantry over the last two years.” The Jacket Care Corner food pantry, located in Hubbard Hall 103, provides currently enrolled students with food, laundry products, school supplies, and personal hygiene items.

Housing rules are just as important over breaks, but they are different than during the normal semesters. Tighter security is being maintained due to reduced staff and students as well as COVID-19 concerns. Winter break residents agree to no guests. They also continue to follow COVID safety protocol, such as wearing masks outside of their room.

“We have had to remove students from break housing due to not following safety rules,” Dean Marsalek stated.

Winter break residents are also required to be COVID tested on either January 15th or January 18th, the same as students who went home for the break.

Not so Typical Holiday Movies To Watch This Year

Written by: Amber Baldwin

It’s that time of year where many people watch their favorite holiday movies.  TV channels like Freeform and Hallmark play Christmas movies 24/7 leading up to Christmas. 

Many families watch holiday classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  Trisha, a student here at DC, said her favorite Christmas movie is The GrinchNester the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey is another favorite.

If you are someone who enjoys being festive and watching movies, here are some underrated or forgotten holiday movies that you should watch over winter break this year.

Little Women (1933, 1949, 1994, & 2019)

Little Women: There are four different versions of this movie but all are based on the book Little Women written by Louisa May Alcott.  In this sweet story, the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, transform from childhood to adulthood with guidance from their mother, who they call Marmee.  All versions of Little Women can be found on Amazon Prime Video.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Meet Me In St. Louis: Seventeen-year-old Esther Smith falls in love with the shy boy-next-door, John Truitt.  Esther is played by Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.  The classic Christmas song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was written for this movie. Meet Me in St. Louis can be watched through HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

White Christmas (1954)

A White Christmas: Performers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis fall in love with a sister act made up of Betty and Judy Haynes.  The four then try to help save an inn in Vermont that is run by the men’s former commanding general from WWII.  White Christmas was the first movie to be shot in Vista Vision and can be found on Netflix. 

Mame (1974)

Mame: This movie is starring Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy.  She plays Mame Dennis, who ends up being the guardian to her nephew after her brother passes away.  Throughout her life, she relies on her best friend Vera Charles, played by Bea Arthur from The Golden Girls. The famous song “We need a Little Christmas” was written for this show. Mame is on Amazon Prime Video.

A Garfield Christmas (1987)

Garfield’s Christmas In this cartoon, Garfield, Odie, and their owner Jon head to Jon’s parents’ farmhouse to spend Christmas with Jon’s family.  This Christmas special can be found for free on The Official Garfield YouTube Channel.

Prancer (1989)

Prancer:An eight-year-old farm girl believes that the wounded reindeer that has shown up belongs to Santa Claus, so she tries to help it so that it is better in time for Christmas.  Prancer can be watched on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Elmo Saves Christmas (1996)

Elmo Saves Christmas: Elmo receives a snow globe from Santa and wishes for it to be Christmas every day, but then soon realizes that it was not the best decision to do that.  This movie is perfect for anyone who is feeling nostalgic.  Also, the movie’s narrator is Maya Angelou.  Elmo Saves Christmas is on HBO Max.

Samantha:  An American Girl Holiday (2004)

Samantha:  An American Girl Holiday: This is another perfect movie for anyone who is feeling nostalgic.  It’s 1904 and Samantha Parkington becomes friends with three girls who work as maids for the next-door neighbors.  This movie is based on the American Girl doll Samantha’s book series.  You can watch this movie for free through AMC if you have cable TV, but you can also rent it through Amazon Prime Video. 

Last Holiday (2006)

Last Holiday: Georgia Byrd, played by Queen Latifah, finds out some devastating news. So she sells everything she owns and spends all of her money on a vacation of a lifetime before it’s too late.  This can be found on Hulu.

Carol (2015)

Carol: In the early 1950s, Therese Belivet, works for Frankenberg department store. She falls in love with an older, wealthy, married woman named Carol Aird in New York City. Their relationship causes many complications in their lives. This movie can be found on Netflix.

Happy Festivus and Other Holidays happening in December

Written by: AD Johnson

I feel safe to say that 2020 has been a rough year for many. In my experience, there have been reasons to be sad, mad, upset, frustrated, overwhelmed, and discouraged just about every month in 2020. 

However, looking back, I can find moments each day to be grateful for what I have and can find something to celebrate even if it’s small. December is almost over but there is still time for DC students to find a fun festivity each day to celebrate during the rest of winter break.

In the month of December, there are over 100 holidays to celebrate according to National Today,, a website that has compiled federal, religious, and fun celebrations for each day of the year. The site has 11 categories that they separate the topic of celebration in and have 5 different countries to choose from when finding a holiday.

I’ve found 5 different days that are unusual, fun, and a bit unheard of to finish off the rest of the year but there are plenty more to choose from in case you need even more merriment during winter break. 

December 22, 2020

National Cookie Exchange Day: This day was created by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway known as the Queen of Holidays. It gives people a chance to bake and give a small treat to show kindness. This is especially a good holiday to take part in as dropping off a box of gooides to friends, family and neighbors can be done safely during the pandemic.

December 23, 2020

Festivus: In the 1990s, Festivus was created on the sitcom Seinfield. George’s father made up the holiday after getting in a fight over a toy and wanted to have a better way to celebrate the holiday without “the increased commercialism and consumerism.” To participate in Festivus, there at least main traditions: the airing of grievances, then a Festivus dinner, followed by the Feats of Strength. To find more about Festivus, visit or watch the Seinfield episode called “The Strike” where the holiday first appears on Hulu or Youtube. It’s always nice to have a good laugh.

December 26, 2020

National Thank You Note Day: This day is a day to thank people who not only gave you gifts but to thank those who we are thankful for during the year. There is no need for a special card or decorated paper, any piece of paper will work as long as the words are honest and show appreciation. **Bonuses – it’s fun to receive mail and it supports our Postal service.

December 28, 2020

National Call a Friend Day: Celebrating your friends is defiantly a reason to have a special holiday. On this day, people get in touch with their friends to reconnect or just chat. Texting or emailing is acceptable too.

December 30, 2020

National Bacon Day: This delicious holiday began in 1997 by Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard. “According to the founders of Bacon Day, we are encouraged to eat a variety of bacon while watching Kevin Bacon movies, or movies with bacon in the title” as reported by the National Day Calendar website

While there are plenty of known holidays to celebrate left this year, adding another fun tradition celebrating one or more of these lesser known days is sure to add more fun and specialness to the festivities. 

Service Leader Host Fundraiser

Written by: Trisha Baldwin

With the holiday season quickly approaching, there is no better time than now to give. In fact, students can partake in the act of giving this holiday season right on Defiance College’s campus. The service leadership program has started Project-Build-a-Bed, which involves collecting plastic bags and later weaving them into sleeping mats. The sleeping mats made will support the NOCAC PATH center. DC students are encouraged to collect all of their holiday/grocery bags over the break and bring them with them as they return to campus to aid this great cause.

Donations will be accepted through January 29 at collection sites in Defiance Hall, Serrick Campus Center, George M. Smart Athletic Center, Pilgrim Library, Hubbard Hall, McReynolds Hall, Whitney Hall, and St. John United Church of Christ.

Over the break, each service leader has been busy cutting the bags that have already been collected into plastic yarn, which will later be woven together. However, about 500-700 bags are required to produce one sleeping mat, so the service leaders are in need of as many bags as possible.

According to Mia Mathews, the Director of Service Leadership Programs, “It has been a fantastic way for us to address a community need from our own homes. The most challenging part of this pandemic is that while the needs of the community have skyrocketed, our ability to serve has been limited to reduce exposure to the virus.”

This project serves as a great way to stay civically engaged and helpful while limiting exposure to others during the pandemic.

“We are not only providing resources to support the amazing work of the NOCAC PATH Center, but we are upcycling plastic bags that are very rarely recycled” stated Mathews.

Project Build-a-Bed is not only helping people but also accomplishes the purpose of helping the environment. With the uncertainty of today’s world, the act of giving and helping one’s community remains constant, especially at Defiance College.

Best Coffee Shops at Defiance College

Written by: AD Johnson

There are many places to get coffee around Defiance. To find the best coffee for DC students, I looked at the price, location, and options. 

Looking at the needs of the college student, I narrowed the choices to four close locations that would be accessible to students who do are unable to drive there. They were Biggby, The Hive, Tim Hortons, and McDonald’s. 

Here’s what I found starting with the least favorable to most favorable in choices of coffee for DC students.  

McDonald’s:☕ This restaurant came in last in all categories we looked for in best coffee except the price. Any size coffee was only $1.00 Their iced coffee price started at $1.59 for a small and $2.00 for a large. The most expensive drinks tipped out at $3.59. 

They have the least number of selections. A student can only select vanilla, caramel, or mocha with occasional special flavors like peppermint or pumpkin spice. They offer macchiatos, lattes, cappuccino, and americanos along with plain coffee. 

According to Google Maps, Mcdonalds was also the farthest walk. It is .7 miles away from the dorms with an estimated walk time of 14 minutes. 

Tim Hortons:☕☕ The coffee prices and options were comparable to McDonald’s but Tim Hortons since the distance was closer, placed third on this list. It is .4 miles and about 9 minutes to walk. While closer than McDonald’s it is still quite a bit farther than the other two options. 

Their prices fall in line with that of McDonald’s with a small coffee being $1.55, a large $2.15, and the most expensive drink without add-ons was $4.09. The flavor options were similar to McDonald’s as well. Tim Hortons offered vanilla, mocha, caramel, and a seasonal peppermint mocha option. They had hot, iced, or cold brew coffee and lattes, cappuccinos, americano, and espressos. 

The Hive:☕☕☕ The closet option for students comes in second. The Hive is just .2 miles from the dorms and is about a minute walk. They offer coffee, iced coffee, espresso, frozen coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, and americanos. The price of a regular small coffee is $1.79 with a large being $2.19. The most expensive drink is something called a frozen Jacket Mocha coming in at $5.09. The assortment of flavors and types were similar to Tim Hortons and McDonald’s. The Hive also accepts Munch Money which did not figure into the results, but I wanted to note that. 

Biggby: ☕☕☕☕ Biggby being the only coffee specific store comes in first. It had the most options in type and flavor, second closet location, and comparable in price as the other stores. The store .4 miles with about a 2 minutes’ walk from the dorms. 

Samantha Hass, a worker at Biggy and DC student filled me in on the flavors of coffee offered daily. They are at least 13 types. Sam states, “We have quite a few different types of coffee, which we rotate through every day.” They are “Biggby best, Biggby Best Decaf, Hazelnut, Hazelnut Decaf, French Roast, Maple Bourbon, Vermont Maple, Pumpkin Pie, Costa Rica, Living Hope, Michigan Cherry, and Toasted Coconut”. 

The price of a small cup of coffee is $1.99 and an extra-large is $2.39. Most other types of drinks begin at around $2.99 for smalls and upwards of $5.09 for the largest size. They have lattes, americano, café au laits, cappuccinos, and ice coffee. They have many flavors and combinations, many more than the rest of the stores.

Life as a Commuter Student: What it’s like

By: Katelynn Smith

Out of all the students who go to Defiance College, roughly 35% of them are commuter students. This means that they live off campus, such as in an apartment, with their parents or are non-traditional students. Two students shared with me how life is as a commuter student including how tricky it can be now since COVID-19. This is how they are feeling with the semester so far.

Madison Schoenauer is from Defiance, Ohio, and is a Freshman at Defiance. She said that she chose to commute to save money.

Madison Pueschel is originally from Sturgis, Michigan but is living with friends who are upperclassmen in an apartment off-campus.

Both students said they typically drive to school each day and make sure they plan their days in advance so they don’t have to rush around in the mornings and don’t forget things at home.

“I usually pack snacks for the long days and make sure she brings her computer charger as she usually goes to the library during the day to catch up on schoolwork.” She said that “she much rather be in the library as she tends to get distracted and procrastinate her homework while she is at home”.

Both students play sports at Defiance so they are usually on campus for long periods of time. “If I have enough time, she will run back to the apartment and take a quick shower after workouts or will nap, said Pueschel”. 

Time management is typically pretty simple for a commuter student, they both agreed. The students manage their time around their schedules with their classes and the sports they play. While they are usually doing something productive, they both stated that life as a commuter student is pretty laid back and relaxed.

Schoenauer and Pueschel are able to be with their friends and family and still have a good support system around them to help with becoming lonely.

“It does stink with COVID being around that she cannot make as many new friends since commuters are not allowed in the dorms and other areas that residential students are allowed to be in,” Pueschel said. “I cannot see new people at events because she is not allowed or they get canceled.” She feels sad about it but would still rather be a commuter student.

Commuting may be difficult for some students because of Covid being around at the moment, but in the end, if it works out the best for you then commuting is the way to go.