Thousands Honor the Life and Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Stephen Somerstein

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day which was first celebrated in January of 1986. 

According to ABC, groups all over America are gathering to pay homage to the slain civil rights leader. A particularly special moment took place in South Carolina where for the first time about 1,000 people gathered for an annual rally at the statehouse without the confederate flag, which was offically taken down during the summer of 2015. 

Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton and Martin O’Malley were among the participants at the event this year. 

President Barack Obama took to Twitter to commemorate the day celebrating the history-making civil rights leader saying,

“Today we honor a man who challenged us to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Let’s keep working to realize Dr. King’s dream.”

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The President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama also plan to take part in a community service program today to honor Dr. King’s legacy. 

Attorney General Loretta Lynch will serve as the keynote speaker at a National Action Network King Day Awards program and FBI Director James Comey will lead a government wreath-laying service at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington.

In Dr. King’s hometown of Atlanta, an overflow crowd showed up at Ebenezer Baptist Church to celebrate King’s legacy at an annual commemorative service. 

Celebrities and civilians alike have overflowed social media with inspiring quotes, iconic images and message of hope in honor of Dr. King. 

Happy Martin Luther King. Jr. day from ESSENCE! May we continue to strive to realize his dream.