Forty-eight years after he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Martin Luther King Jr. now has a permanent presence on the National Mall with this week’s opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
A week’s worth of festivities was to have culminated Sunday with a ceremony attended by President Barack Obama, civil rights-era leaders and performers and celebrities including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Berry Gordy Jr., George Lucas and Jamie Foxx. But with Hurricane Irene bearing down on the East Coast, organizers announced late Thursday that the dedication will be postponed until September or October.
The memorial has been nearly 15 years in the making at a cost of $120 million, most of which has been raised through fundraising and donations. Ground was broken at the site on the Tidal Basin in 2006. We’ll have a full report about the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Friday’s PBS NewsHour broadcast.