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Parades, marches and service projects honor MLK

By Phillip Lucas

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:21 p.m. HST, Jan 20, 2014

A full slate of local events to honor the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. over the weekend culminated in the 26th annual parade and unity rally today.

The 9 a.m. parade started at Magic Island, proceeded down Kala­kaua Avenue and ended at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand, where the rally was held.

A wide array of events were also held around the country to commemorate King's birthday.

Hundreds of people filled Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta today to remember and reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The service at the church where King preached featured prayers, songs, music and speakers. It was one of many events, including parades, marches and community service projects, across the country to honor King, an Atlanta native.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said there were not many states that can boast a native son that merits a national holiday, but added: "we Georgians can."

Deal said this year he would work with state legislators to find an appropriate way to honor the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize winner at the Georgia Capitol, which drew a standing ovation from the audience. He did not give any specifics. Civil rights leaders have suggested a statue at the state Capitol.

"I think that more than just saying kind thoughts about him we ought to take action ourselves," said Deal, a Republican. "That's how we embed truth into our words. I think it's time for Georgia's leaders to follow in Dr. King's footsteps and take action, too."

MORE PHOTOS: MLK Jr. Remembrance

Deal also touched on criminal justice reforms his administration has tried to make, including drug and mental health courts and community-based services to keep non-violent criminals and young people out of prison.

Vice President Joe Biden addressed the National Action Network's MLK Breakfast, urging them to protect voting rights.

"Let me remind you all, it all rests ultimately on the ballot box, so keep the faith, or as my grandmom would say, 'No, Joey, go spread the faith.' It's time to spread it," Biden said.

In Ann Arbor, Mich., activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte planned to deliver the keynote address for the 28th annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium at the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium.

In Memphis, Tenn., where King was assassinated, an audio recording of an interview with King was played at the National Civil Rights Museum. The recording sheds new light on a phone call President John F. Kennedy made to King's wife more than 50 years ago.

Historians generally agree Kennedy's phone call to Coretta Scott King expressing concern over her husband's arrest in October 1960 — and Robert Kennedy's work behind the scenes to get King released — helped JFK win the White House.

The reel-to-reel audiotape was discovered by a man cleaning out his father's attic. The father, an insurance salesman, had interviewed King for a book he was writing, but never completed it and stored the recording with other interviews he'd done.

At the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky., the centered showed King's "I Have a Dream" speech on the hour. In August, tens of thousands of Americans visited the National Mall to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and King's "I Have a Dream" speech, which he gave from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Several people who were scheduled to speak at that event but were cut because there was not enough time were invited to speak at Ebenezer.

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and he would've been 85 years old. The federal holiday is the third Monday in January and has been celebrated since 1986.

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serious wrote:
Now, King deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, but in the last few years it sure has lost its luster.
on January 20,2014 | 09:06AM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
More people were in the parade than watched the parade today in Waikiki. Largest contingent in the parade.......government workers union.
on January 20,2014 | 09:25AM
serious wrote:
Surfer: Not all the workers union. Police weren't there, I talked to one on why not. He said they were on duty for the parade "overtime", if course. As an aside, I wonder what Martin's first name would be if he were born today--most likely a six syllable one! Read his history--he avoided the draft since he was a minister, just like Mohammad Ali!!
on January 20,2014 | 10:37AM
hanalei395 wrote:
How to piss-off Obama haters ...... Wish them a "Happy Martin Luther King Day".
on January 20,2014 | 02:03PM
HD36 wrote:
Ali was smart enough to know that the Vietnam War was brought on by a false flag operation that even McNamara admitted to in order to justify invading another country and starting a war. Like Ali said, " No yellow man ever called me a N....r!"
on January 20,2014 | 07:28PM
scooters wrote:
on January 20,2014 | 09:36AM
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