The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial has a new date set for its official dedication ceremony, after Hurricane Irene forced organizers to postpone the event, planned for late August.
Organizers are expected to announce a new dedication date of Oct. 16 later this week. The original date, Aug. 28, was the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but the new date also holds historical significance as it marks the anniversary of the Million Man March, held in 1995, and organized by the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan. President Obama is scheduled to speak at the dedication.
The original dedication was intended to cap a week of celebrations and events in honor of the leader and the memorial. However, even as weather concerns forced the postponement of the dedication and stifled travel plans, many other events in commemoration of the memorial went on as scheduled. The weather didn’t stop visitors either. Hundreds came out on the date of the official opening to view the memorial and to pay respects to the civil rights leader.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the first memorial dedicated to an African-American on the National Mall. The King memorial is surrounded by memorials to presidents and features a 30-foot statue of his likeness.
(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)