Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Breaks Ground
Groundbreaking for the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial takes place on Monday, November 13. Co-hosted by Tavis and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, the ceremony will include inspirational musical performances and addresses from President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.
The memorial—the first on the National Mall dedicated to an American leader who was not a president—was authorized in June 1998, when Congress passed House Joint Resolution 113. President Clinton signed the bill into law and, on March 4, 1999, the memorial site was approved.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial will be situated adjacent to the F.D.R. Memorial and create a visual “line of leadership” from the Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Maryland’s Senator Paul Sarbanes, one of the original sponsors of the bill, explained the significance of the location: “On the line of sight between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials [the King Memorial] will assume a significance that will burn itself into the American consciousness and have the consequence of strongly shaping attitudes, particularly for young people.”
The Memorial’s centerpiece, the “Stone of Hope,” a 30-foot likeness of Dr. King, will convey three fundamental and recurring themes throughout his life—democracy, justice and hope.
Read the Transcript from the special show Tavis taped at the King Memorial groundbreaking.