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October 16, 2011


                    MLK, Jr. Memorial
                     Washington, D.C.
         Photo by John White (2011)

Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Barack Obama, the 1st African-American President of the United States, joined Vice-President Joseph Biden, Secretary of Interior Kenneth Salazar, members of the King family, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder & others to dedicate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial today here in the Nation’s Capital.

                 MLK, Jr. Memorial
                  Washington, D.C.
       Photo by John White (2011)

President Obama said:

“In this place he will stand for all time among monuments of those who fathered this nation & those who defended it.  A black preacher with no official rank or title who somehow gave voice to our deepest dreams & our most lasting ideals.”

The memorial, which covers 4 acres,  is located on the National Mall at 1964 Independence Ave.,SW.

A 30 foot statue of Dr. King, which faces toward the Tidal Basin, was made from 159 granite blocks.

The sculptor is Lei Yixin of the People’s Republic of China.

                         MLK, Jr. Memorial
                          Washington, D.C.
               Photo by John White (2011)

On the sides of the King statue are these inscriptions:

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope”

“I was a drum major for peace, justice & righteousness.” 

14 quotations from Dr. King’s sermons & speeches are inscribed on a crescent shaped granite wall located behind & on either side of the statue.

                 MLK, Jr. Memorial
                   Washington, D.C.
       Photo by John White (2011)

One of the quotations is from Dr. King’s speech in Los Angeles, California on December 24, 1967.

“I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America.  I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety & sorrow in my heart, & above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as a moral example of the world.”

The MLK Memorial was built at a cost of $120 million.*

*The dedication was originally planned for the anniversary date of King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, August 28, but Hurricane Irene forced the event to be rescheduled for today.  We visited the memorial during our recent trip to Washington on September 25, 2011.

                     Photo by John White
                         September 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Library of Congress Photo (1964)

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

          Jennifer at the King Birthplace
                         Atlanta, Georgia
              Photo by John White (2008)

King became a Baptist minister & leader of the civil rights movement of the 1950s & 1960s.  

In 1954, King, at the age of 25, became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama & the following year received a PhD. from Boston University.

That same year he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott to a successful conclusion.

In 1960, Dr. King joined his father, Martin Luther King, Sr. as co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

                Ebenezer Baptist Church
                       Atlanta, Georgia
             Photo by John White (2008)

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his most famous “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington.  

King said:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up & live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.'”

After the speech, Dr. King & other civil rights leaders met with President Kennedy at the White House.  JFK greeted them with the words: “I have a dream.”

In 1964, Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize & in 1968 was concentrating his efforts on a “Poor People’s Campaign” & opposition to the Vietnam War.

On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was in Memphis, Tennessee giving support to a sanitation workers’ strike when he was shot & killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

                           John White 
        National Civil Rights Museum
            Site of the Lorraine Motel
               Memphis, Tennessee
         Photo by Chad Smith (2008)

Dr. King is buried along with his wife Coretta Scott King in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Kings had 4 children.

           Martin & Coretta Scott King
                      Atlanta, Georgia
           Photo by John White (2008)


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