The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

See how the memorial to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. evokes his memory -- and honors his messages of justice, hope, love and democracy.

Photos

Cherry blossom trees are in full bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, pictured here with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. 960 1280

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Tourists admire cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. 960 1280

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A man lifts his baby daughter into the air near the base of the Washington Monument during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. 960 1280

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Embassy of Japan Cherry Blossom Princess, Tomoko Shiojiri, lights a Japanese stone lantern during a ceremony as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. 960 1280

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Cherry blossom balloons are carried along the parade route on Constitution Avenue. Various cultural groups, marching bands, floats and balloons are featured in the annual event. The festival started in 1935 and today, more than a million people visit Washington, DC, each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees and attend events in the 16-day festival.  960 1280

S Pakhrin [Flickr  

People walk a bike at the Tidal Basin under the cherry blossoms, with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in the background. 960 1280

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The Washington Monument can be seen through the branches of cherry trees along the tidal basin. The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo giving 3000 cherry trees to the city of Washington in 1912. 960 1280

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Cultural groups perform in the Sakura Maturo street festival on Pennsylvania Avenue following the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival parade. 960 1280

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Traditional Japanese dancers prepare backstage before a performance in Washington, DC, as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. 960 1280

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Batala, the all-woman percussion ensemble performs at the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.  960 1280

thisisbossi [Flickr, [CC-NC-SA-2.0   

Rosario Ponte of Alexandria, VA, photographs the cherry blossoms that circle the Tidal Basin as the trees begin to bloom April. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration to commemorate the 1912 gift of 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees from Japan. 960 1280

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Tourists walk by the Tidal Basin to get the best view of all the cherry blossoms. 960 1280

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A Washington, DC, landmark, Ben's Chili Bowl has been serving locals half-smokes and chili fries since 1958, when it was a hub for luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., and more. 960 1280

  

True Reformer Building, built in 1902 by John Anderson Lankford, DC's first registered black architect. The building now sports a mural of Duke Ellington, and was the former location of the African American Civil War Museum. 960 1280

  

In the 1950s, "Black Broadway" included Lincoln Theatre, which today hosts theatre, dance and comedy shows. 960 1280

  

Washington, DC's "U Street" neighborhood has been revitalized in recent years, and continues to be a center of African-American history and culture. 960 1280

  

Established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was named for poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the nearby Wardman Park Hotel. Busboys strives to be not just a restaurant/bar, but also "a community gathering place for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers." 960 1280

  

The U Street district is a neighborhood of diverse cultures, with a mix of new businesses and restaurants operating amid the historic sites and flavors of the area's past. 960 1280

  

"Black Broadway" was marked by the day's big jazz luminaries: Duke Ellington (who was born in DC's west end), Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Pearl Bailey all played its clubs. 960 1280

  

The African American Civil War Memorial, the only national memorial commemorating African-American troops in the Civil War, bears these words by Frederick Douglass: "Better even to die free than to live slaves." 960 1280

  

Spontaneous celebrations erupted all over Washington, DC, when President Barack Obama was declared the winner of the 2008 presidential election. U Street was the center of it with crowds dancing in the streets, at bus stops and even on top of cars. 960 1280

  

"The Alchemy of Ben Ali" mural, located on the side of Ben's Next Door, shows a portrait of the Alis (founders of the landmark, Ben's Chili Bowl) alongside images of a protest and a butterfly, which depicts the transformation of the area through the years. 960 1280

  

Bohemian Cavern, a restaurant and jazz club dating back to 1926 where John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis played, continues to be the spot for jazz in DC. 960 1280

  

Paolo R. was entranced by perhaps the most mysterious set of eyes in art history, those of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" in the Louvre in Paris. 960 1280

Reuters  

Paul J.'s favorite experience was the Monet Expo at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, home to one of the world's finest collections of Impressionist paintings. 960 1280

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Corina N. praised the Prado Museum in Madrid, which features works by Spanish masters such as Velasquez, Goya and Picasso, as well as other cool exhibits like this one featuring royal armor. 960 1280

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Several of our Facebook fans recognized various parts of the Smithsonian museum complex in Washington, DC. Favorites included the Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History. 960 1280

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Blue Barracuda, Nicki B. and Mary O. recounted amazing experiences with exhibits ranging from King Tut to man-eating lions at the Chicago Field Museum. Pictured here is "Sue," a 41-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex. 960 1280

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Sari R. and Valerie M. described the Vatican Museums in Rome as "incredible" and "breathtaking." 960 1280

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Shelly S. was amazed by the Wooly Mammoth exhibit at California's La Brea Tar Pits. In this photo, a lab technician peers inside the jaw bone of a mammoth recently discovered at the site. 960 1280

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Stephanie M. called the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL, a 'wonderful place.' Many special programs are planned for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. 960 1280

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Robert B. described the Rock 'n' Soul Museum in Memphis, TN, as one of the "best music museums ' [where] you can spend hours listening to music." 960 1280

By Thomas R Machnitzki (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html">GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons  

Louise R.'s favorite museum is the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. This innovative museum has plenty of hands-on and interactive exhibits that appeal to history buffs, gear fanatics and kids of all ages. 960 1280

Reuters  

Several fans also recalled impactful experiences at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Shown here is the entrance to "State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda" an exhibit that opened in 2009. 960 1280

Reuters