Trump breaks with past presidents on MLK Day activities

Posted on: January 15th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s schedule Monday marks a break in presidential tradition.

Though it isn’t unusual for Trump to visit his golf course while spending time at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida, the timing of it Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, shows a break from the actions of past presidents.

While Trump urged Americans last Friday to observe the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with acts of civic work and community service to honor the life of the civil rights legend, it doesn’t appear he’ll be doing the same, with no public events listed on his schedule. The White House didn’t immediately respond to requests for further details on how Trump spent his day.

Past Republican and Democratic presidents have done some form of commemoration for King’s life of service on the holiday during their time in office.

In 1994, then-President Bill Clinton signed legislation to designate the federal holiday as a national day of service. He also did volunteer work himself in subsequent years, including a day he spent painting the walls at a Washington, D.C., high school in 1998 and joining AmeriCorps volunteers in painting a senior center in 2001.

During his eight years in office, then-President George W. Bush participated in service events, invited African-American clergy to the White House for lunch and attended church and cultural services honoring King.

And former President Barack Obama and his family made it an annual tradition to participate in some type of service event, from working at a soup kitchen to painting a mural at a family shelter.

Hundreds of demonstrators, including many from the Haitian community, greeted Trump Monday in West Palm Beach. They called for the president to apologize for his controversial comments reportedly made during a recent Oval Office meeting on immigration reform.

“Mr. Trump, we want him to know what he said was not who we are and he needs to apologize,” Byrnes Guillaume, organizer of the protest, told ABC affiliate WPBF-TV. “It was unbecoming of a president.”

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