Sunday, August 28, 2011
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Soon after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968, there was talk about creating a memorial to the civil rights icon. Finally, the memorial will be formally unveiled in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall. King's fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, headed the fundraising efforts for the project, which cost an estimated $120 million. The memorial features a 30-foot-high granite statue of the slain leader (called the "Stone of Hope") and two other pieces of stone that symbolize the "mountain of despair." Visitors will pass through the "mountains" on the way to "hope." In addition, a 450-foot granite wall will include portions of speeches from the great orator, and 24 niches will adorn the walkway in memory of the people who lost their lives in the civil rights moment. President Barack Obama is slated to attend the memorial's dedication, which will include performances from Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder.