Civil rights icon King remembered in hometown

January 19, 2010

ATLANTA – Worshippers in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s hometown are remembering the civil rights icon during a special ceremony at the church where he once preached.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon: King is recognized as a martyr by two Christian churches. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his ""I Have a Dream"" speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history, Wikipedia wrote at its site.
Princeton University scholar Cornel West was to deliver the keynote address on Monday, which is King's namesake holiday, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. King preached there from 1960 until his assassination in 1968, the Associated Press reported.
A march is also planned in Montgomery, Ala., where King gained renown leading a bus boycott in protest of segregation during the 1950s.
Monday marks the 25th federal observance of King's birthday. The civil rights icon and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner is the only black American whose birthday is a national holiday