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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a national memorial located in West Potomac Park next to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. It covers four acres (1.6 ha) and includes the Stone of Hope, a granite statue of Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. carved by sculptor Lei Yixin. The inspiration for the memorial design is a line from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” The memorial opened to the public on August 22, 2011, after more than two decades of planning, fund-raising, and construction.

This national memorial is the 395th United States National Park Service unit. The monumental memorial is located at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, on a sightline linking the Lincoln Memorial to the northwest and the Jefferson Memorial to the southeast. The official address of the monument, 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W., commemorates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A ceremony dedicating the memorial was scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 but was postponed until October 16 (the 16th anniversary of 1995 Million Man March on the National Mall) due to Hurricane Irene.


Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968), an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement, was an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world and advocated for using nonviolent resistance, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. Although, during his life, he was monitored by the FBI for presumed communist sympathies, King is now presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.

At the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, King imagined an end to racial inequality in his “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech has been canonized as one of the greatest pieces of American oratory. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means.

At the time of his death, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War. King was backing the Memphis sanitation strike and organizing a mass occupation of Washington, D.C. – the Poor People’s Campaign – when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.


The street address for the memorial is 1964 Independence Avenue SW in Washington, D.C. The address “1964” was chosen as a direct reference to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a milestone in the Civil Rights Movement in which King played an important role. The memorial is located on a 4-acre (1.6 ha) site in West Potomac Park that borders the Tidal Basin, southwest of the National Mall. The memorial is near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. It is intended to create a visual “line of leadership” from the Lincoln Memorial, on whose steps King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington, to the Jefferson Memorial. EZ DC Junk Removal

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