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.

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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

  

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

Alex Wong/Getty Images  

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

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images  

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

Getty Images  

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

Alex Wong/Getty Images  

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

Getty Images  

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

Getty Images  

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

The Washington Post / Getty Images  

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

Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images  

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

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images  

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

Mark Wilson / Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

The founders of the Cleveland Museum of Art created it in 1913 "for the benefit of all people forever." 960 1280

  

Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Photography is the Midwest's leading photography museum. 960 1280

  

The Getty Center may be one of the best -- and cheapest -- date spots in Los Angeles. 960 1280

  

The Baltimore Museum of Art features more than 90,000 works. 960 1280

  

The Smithsonian in Washington, DC, features 13 free museums, including the ever-popular Air and Space Museum. 960 1280

  

The Frye Art Museum has been bringing free art to Seattle since 1952. 960 1280

  

The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago is the country's largest Latino cultural organization. 960 1280

  

Join the 2.5 million other visitors who head to The Alamo in San Antonio each year. 960 1280

  

Fashionistas can study the culture of fashion at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. 960 1280

  

The collection at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore includes Greek sculptures and Roman sarcophagi. 960 1280