The nation paused to remember Martin Luther King Jr. with parades, marches and service projects Monday.
King was born Jan. 15, 1929, with the federal holiday honoring his birth falling on the third Monday in January. In Atlanta, a service was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor. In Memphis, Tenn., where King was assassinated, an audio recording of an interview with King was played at the National Civil Rights Museum.
Events, celebrations and tributes also were held in the D.C. area.
Monday morning, a wreath was laid at the MLK Memorial on the National Mall to pay tribute to the leader's life work. Several area leaders were in attendance.
The National Cathedral hosted a special tribute in honor of Dr. King. A free concert featuring poetry, music and performances by local students was held from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Monday.
While admission was free, attendees were asked to bring a new children’s book or non-perishable food item to donate.
All 401 national parks had free admission Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A third of national parks charge admission. MLK Day is the first of nine days this year when entrance fees to the parks are waived.
The day was also marked as a day of service.
Some former professional athletes and D.C.-area sports fans spent the day giving the West Education Campus a makeover in honor of King's legacy. The star-studded event played host to some big names here in the Washington area.
Former Bullets shooting guard Bob Dandridge and 50 lucky fans painted murals and made minor repairs.
In southeast D.C., student volunteers picked up litter at Pope Branch Park. They filled up garbage bags with styrofoam trash and bottles, keeping them out of the Anacostia River.
Down the road at Fort Dupont Park members of The National Park Service and the Student Conservation Association got rid of invasive plant species that threaten natural resources.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.