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Dozens of Cities Plan for World-wide ‘Let Freedom Ring’ Celebration

8/14/2013, 11:06 a.m.
As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, ...
Bernice King

ATLANTA - As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, The King Center announced expanded details for the observance of this historic milestone.

“The response to our call to commemorate the March on Washington and my father’s “I Have a Dream” speech has been overwhelming,” said King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King, a convener of the nation-wide and global mobilization. “Our coalition has organized a wonderful, diverse program, which begins in Atlanta, continues for 8 days in Washington, D.C. and culminates with a global bell-ringing. We expect hundreds of thousands of people to join us in the nation’s capitol for this historic event, and many more to take part world-wide in their communities.”

The King Center, along with the National Park Service and others, is co-sponsoring a full day of activities on August 28th, the actual anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. There will be an Interfaith Service at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC from 9 to 10:30 a.m. that will include a variety of religious disciplines.

That afternoon there will be a “Let Freedom Ring Call to Action and Commemoration Ceremony” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C will feature remarks from President Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the King Family, elected officials, international dignitaries, celebrities, youth and leaders from national and international organizations. The program is global in nature and will include performances by a Haka Team from New Zealand and Junkanoo Performers from the Bahamas. Confirmed program participants include: Kid President, Jaime Fox, Peter and Paul, Hill Harper, Soledad O’Brien, Lynda Johnson Robb, Bebe Winans and others to be announced. For more details, go to http://officialmlkdream50.com/.

Ms. King said that her father’s call to “Let Freedom Ring” in his speech will be answered with programs and bell-ringing ceremonies across the nation on August 28th at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In addition to the diverse activities scheduled for Washington, D.C., programs celebrating the ’63 March and Dr. King’s dream with bell-ringing ceremonies have thus far been scheduled in places as diverse as: Montgomery, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Stone Mountain, Roswell, Rome and Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Topeka, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; Chaska Minnesota; Tougaloo College, Jackson, Greenwood and Columbus, Mississippi; Jefferson City, Missouri; Amherst, Concord, Isles of Shoals, Nashua, North Conway, Pelham and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire; New York, New York; Delaware and Grandville, Ohio; Allentown, Lafayette College and Allegheny College, Pennsylvania; Nyack, New York; Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; Marion Cross School, Norwich, Vermont; and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with more being added every day.

Bell-ringing programs will take place outside the U.S. at 3:00 p.m. in their respective time zones in locations as diverse as: Kathmandu, Nepal; Lutry and Montreaux, Switzerland; Monrovia, Liberia; London, U.K.; and Tokyo, Japan.