Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
January 16, 2012 by staff
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, The nation pauses Monday to remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights icon who would have turned 83 this year had a bullet not cut short his life.
President Barack Obama will mark the holiday with a service project at the Browne Education Campus in Washington on Monday morning, and the first couple will attend the Let Freedom Ring Celebration at the Kennedy Center on Monday evening.
.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to speak at the King Day at the Dome rally in South Carolina on Monday, according to organizers of the event. The event will “commemorate Dr. King’s life, draw attention to economic and educational equalities in the state, and protest the Confederate battle flag flying in front of the (state capitol) building,” organizers said.
A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April 1968, was first observed in 1986. In 1994, Congress also designated it a national day of service.
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On Sunday, park rangers placed wreaths at the Washington memorial honoring the civil rights leader. Members of King’s family stood beside the towering 30-foot statue of him as crowds sang “Happy Birthday” at a ceremony.
“We’re celebrating the best of what we are, but also what we must become, knowing that we’ve not arrived there yet,” Martin Luther King III said.
On the civil rights leader’s birthday — January 15, 1968 — Martin Luther King Jr. was planning a “poor people’s campaign” to bring together Americans from all walks of life to demand “decent jobs with decent pay,” his son said.
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