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."FULL STORY