Closings and Cancellations

Obama names 3 national monuments honoring civil rights

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017.
Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is designating three new national monuments honoring civil rights history as it commemorates next week’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

They are the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama, the Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, Alabama, and the Reconstruction Era National Monument in South Carolina.

A White House statement issued Thursday says the president “is taking new steps to promote diversity and inclusivity” in the nation’s system of national parks, national forests, monuments and other public lands and waters.

The White House says protection for the newly named national monuments will be strongly supported by the local communities, elected officials and a wide variety of stakeholders including civil rights organizations, environmental justice groups and historic preservation groups.

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