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

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

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

Getty Images  

All Along the Tidal Basin

All Along the Tidal Basin

Tourists can get an up-close-and-personal view of the blooms along the DC Tidal Basin. 960 1280

Mark Wilson / Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

Cherry Blossom Balloons

Cherry Blossom Balloons

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  

Family Fun

Family Fun

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  

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

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

Dennis Govoni / Getty Images  

Cherry Blossom Princess

Cherry Blossom Princess

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  

Sakura Maturo Street Festival

Sakura Maturo Street Festival

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  

Off in the Distance

Off in the Distance

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

Getty Images  

Traditional Japanese Dancers

Traditional Japanese Dancers

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  

On the Stage

On the Stage

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   

You Can See Them Everywhere

You Can See Them Everywhere

Cherry blossom viewing isn't limited only to the Tidal Basin either, bright-pink floral shows can be captured all over the city.
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Sean Pavone / Getty Images  

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

  

In 1963, nearly 300,000 protestors headed to the nation's capital for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was a step in the right direction for passing the Civil Rights Act of1964. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his memorable 'I Have a Dream' speech at this spot on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963. 960 1280

Getty  

On March 30, 1965, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King led protestors in a march from Selma, AL, to the capitol in Montgomery to fight for black voting rights. 960 1280

Getty  

Martin Luther King Jr. slept in Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, on the night before he was assassinated while standing on the hotel's balcony in 1968. 960 1280

Reuters  

The Lorraine Motel is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum, which chronicles the civil rights movement and provides opportunities to learn more about peace and justice in our world. 960 1280

Reuters  

Visitors pay their respects to Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King at the crypt at the King Center in Atlanta. 960 1280

Reuters  

Martin Luther King Jr. was the pastor at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church & Parsonage in Montgomery, AL, between 1954 and 1960. Today, you can take a tour of the church and parsonage, both National Historic Landmarks. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Two great civil rights leaders are celebrated at the intersection of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Detroit. 960 1280

Reuters  

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati celebrates our country's civil rights heroes from the days of slavery and the Underground Railroad to modern times. 960 1280

Farshid Assassi/Assassi Productions  

In 1955, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white man. This action rocked the country and sparked another battle in the war for civil rights. Today, the public can step on the bus where it all began at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. 960 1280

Getty  

The Rosa Parks Museum tells the tale of the 'victory ride' and the 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system that happened after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. 960 1280

Getty  

Rosa Parks passed away in 2005 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. 960 1280

Getty  

Martin Luther King Jr. preached about nonviolence and peace from the pulpit of the original Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which was across the street from the new sanctuary on the grounds of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site. 960 1280

  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

In October 2011, after more than 2 decades of planning, the MLK Memorial opened in Washington, DC. Critics were unhappy with “drum major” quote abbreviation (pictured); the Department of Interior has since announced the quote will be removed. 960 1280

PBS NewsHour, flickr  

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