ATLANTA -- Hundreds of people filled Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Monday to remember and reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., who preached at the church.
The service featured prayers, songs, music and speakers. It’s one of the many events across the country honoring King, including parades, marches and service projects.
Locally, one of the largest celebrations took place at the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. There were speeches and music at a morning annual inter-faith service, which was followed by a march through downtown.
St. Louis has hosted an annual service and march for 45 years, making it one of the oldest Dr. King observances in the nation.
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.
King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the federal holiday is the third Monday in January.