WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, millions honor the civil rights icon who played a major role in the fight for equal rights and right here at home many like Alan Martin, President of the Friends of the Wichita Falls Public Library, celebrate because they know just how important King’s work was and still is in our society.

“I grew up in Connecticut and I was really surprised when I came down to Texas the way things were in the sixties. Colored bathrooms, colored drinking fountains all that kind of stuff that didn’t make any sense to me,” Martin said.

But it was the work spearheaded by King and other civil rights activists that would one day end racial segregation, an incredible feat that Alan says we all should learn about and remember, which is why the book warehouse features books that can help you do just that.

“It makes for an interesting variety for people to come in and look at just this morning, we had a history teacher from Barwise filling up a shopping cart with books and he got some of these because this is history,” Martin said.

Alan, a retired school teacher himself, has been a part of Texoma’s largest non-profit book store for years now, and he says they’ll always keep their doors open on holidays like these to provide the community a chance to stop in and educate themselves.

“I think it’s important to read about these folks because they are going to tell us why they did what they did in spite of what it cost them,” Martin said.

Alan says the community coming in to read and buy these books that tell our history is what makes all they do possible.

“It’s community support that keeps this place going and keeps us supplied with books about Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King Jr These people are special because they gave their whole life to what they believed in,” Martin said.

In his August 28, 1983, ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Dr. King said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal,”.

If you’d like to donate to the friends of the public library to help them continue pursuing their mission, click here for details.