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Parades, Marches, Service Projects to Honor MLK

New Jersey and the nation pause today to remember Martin Luther King Jr. with parades, marches and service projects.

Dr Martin Luther King
Dr Martin Luther King (William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)

Gov. Chris Christie issued a proclamation marking Monday, January 20, 2014 “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” throughout New Jersey.

“Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for dedicating his life to justice, freedom and equality for all,” Christie said. “His leadership through peace and his use of education continue to inspire the world, and serve as the foundation in the ongoing fight against prejudice and discrimination.”

“Even though it’s been half a century since his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, Dr. King’s belief in equality, freedom and faith still rings true today,” the governor said. “I encourage New Jerseyans to observe this day through acts and deeds of service in their communities and to continue to help make Dr. King’s dream a reality for all Americans.”

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the federal holiday is the third Monday in January.

The United States Postal Service and the stock market will both be closed for the holiday today. Government office in New Jersey are closed and New Jersey Transit is operating on an “enhanced holiday schedule.”

In Philadelphia, more than 125,000 volunteers are expected to work on 1,700 service projects. One of the busiest sites will be Girard College in North Philadelphia, where thousands are expected to turn out for activities that range from a job fair to a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The orchestra is performing its 24th annual King Tribute Concert.

Mayor Michael Nutter is set to help pack up school supplies, books and computers that have been donated for the city’s most needy public schools.

Organizers are also marking the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Brown versus Board of Education decision, the Supreme Court ruling that banned segregation in schools.

In Atlanta, a service will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor. In Memphis, Tenn., where King was assassinated, an audio recording of an interview with King will be played at the National Civil Rights Museum. The recording sheds new light on a phone call President John F. Kennedy made to King’s wife more than 50 years ago.

Historians generally agree Kennedy’s phone call to Coretta Scott King expressing concern over her husband’s arrest in October 1960 — and Robert Kennedy’s work behind the scenes to get King released — helped JFK win the White House.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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