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Philadelphia Garners National Attention for MLK Day Service

January 19, 2012

Philadelphia once again gained national recognition this year as the leader in promoting service on MLK Day. Although the day became a federal holiday in 1983, under President Ronald Reagan, it was made a day of service—a day “on,” not off—in 1994, under President Bill Clinton. In the nearly 20 years since, Philadelphia’s tradition has grown to attract nearly 100,000 volunteers per year. In recognition of Philadelphia’s leadership role (and Pennsylvania’s crucial swing-state status), Vice President Biden visited and spoke at Girard College, on the northern edge of Fairmount. President Obama, meanwhile, did some painting at a middle school cafeteria in Washington, DC.

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