January 16th, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Day of service honors Martin Luther King Jr.

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.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to speak at the King Day at the Dome rally in Columbia, 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.

On Monday, a group including Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, civil rights activist Dick Gregory and the Rev. Al Sharpton placed a wreath at the memorial honoring King.

"We must be reminded as to why Dr. King has been the one to deserve such a monument and such a holiday," Sharpton said. "... What he did was hold a banner of freedom and equality that actually transformed this nation."

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Filed under: Civil Rights
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Philip

    ...and hay. Most believe that MLK honored Jesus Christ. So I'm sure MLK wouldn't mind if I said a few words about his Lord and Savior. Hope none of you mind. Nut Jesus get's very little airrtime these days. Most people don't even know of the adventurous life he led. He was truly an amazing man. The greatest man who ever lived. If you doubt him it's only because you don't know of him. They don't tell you the truth about him. Even the way Jesus is depicted...all scrawny and emmaciated. The man was a remarkable physical speciman and his face shined. He was strong and happy. His face only wrinkled and eyes filled with tears when he was ALONE with his heavenly father in prayer...NEVER in public so as to be seen by men. Never was there such a man.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jazzy

    @ Philip, I really like that Speech on the water comment. People WILL get your point without screaming. Yes it was a different world back then and many faced persecution them selves for demanding equal rights also rightfully so. We are all equal in Gods eye's, the equal potential to sin is their and to repent, and for God to forgive if humbly asked to forgive.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. s kel

    Its cold here I ment to say, see u again(I really ment it when I said kill trolls)

    January 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jazzy

    Keep going Philip, your on a roll! I think it would be a FITTING tribute to MLK if you told more about God and MLK being the God fearing man that is portrayed by the media and his life in general, I believe it would be the best tribute anyone could give to MLK. Don't you agree?

    January 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DMD

    Eric Holder should be barred from speaking at any MLK function, since he is the head of the "Justice" Dept. which continues to support racial inequality and oppression.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Early christians didn't demand anything, Jazzy. Their right to free speech was given to them by their leader, Jesus. Most people back then didn't want to hear that christianity was the way to go. They wanted to hold-on to their old jewish religious system that allowed them to prosper financially in the God-worship business. (cite Jesus making a whip and driving the greedy men out who were making money at the Temple. Fortunes stood to be lost if too many people followed Jesus) Nope. Christians didn't demand a thing from the local authorities. They spread Jesus' message fearlessly. And it wasn't a very popular message back then. For it exposed religious leaders as being false. And exposed them for bending to men whom rule nations rather than bending to God's will.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    ...and Jesus' early followers didn't gather in large crowds in the public squares and cry about being persecuted and demand hat the government fix it. They went about their business of spreading the word quietly, just as Jesus himself taught.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matthew

    Now more than ever, King's concerns about economic inequality are pertinent. http://polentical.com/2012/01/16/martin-luther-king-5-quotes-on-income-inequality/

    January 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    My mother got the day off from working the street corner...right now we are headed to Popeye's to eat some fried chicken and chitlins.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. s kel


    January 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    What is all this dirt slinging at MLK?
    He did things nobody had done before. He accomplished a lot of good things.
    You can find fault with anybody.
    I was around before his time, and after that. I saw what happened.
    The results of that movement were not exactly what we thought that they be when we, as young people, white and black, fussed about rights and equality during the 1950s, but don't belittle what MLK did.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I agree, JIF.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. s kel

    I have a dream......of smoking crack and getting down wit some white women...

    January 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    this is the real s kel ,the troll using my name I can go to my friend at NSA off GN Spellman parkway in AA county MD. give them this phone and have them track down your real name and address. Now once that happens I will spread your name on here and still sue you. Keep it up fool ,I can have this done in two or three days. And sue CNN.

    January 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. s kel

    Asa matter ill do this tomarrow.

    January 16, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. s kel

    no threat im just going to do this.

    January 16, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
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