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What’s Open, What’s Closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in West Des Moines

Only about a third of the nation’s businesses will close Jan. 21 to observe MLK Day.

The second of the official holidays of 2013 is coming up next week as the nation pauses to observe the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a clergyman and activist best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.

King’s actual birthday is Tuesday, Jan. 15 – he would have been 84 this year – but the official holiday is always celebrated on the third Monday of January. This year, that falls on Jan. 21.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday. That means all federal offices will be closed, banks will be closed and the stock market will be closed.

Post offices nationwide are closed.

State of Iowa employees have the day off. The Legislature will not be in session.

Students in the West Des Moines Community School District will have the day off, but it’s a professional development day for teachers and staff.

Dowling Catholic High school students also will have the day off. Teachers and staff will report for professional development.

City of West Des Moines offices are open. So is the West Des Moines Public Library.

For most retail, hospitality and service businesses, hours remain mostly unchanged. If in doubt, call ahead.

A recent Bloomberg News survey found that 30 years after the holiday was enacted, only 32 percent of U.S. businesses close for MLK Day. Patch.com is among them.

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