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US Holiday Honors Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

The United States is observing a national holiday Monday to honor The Reverend Martin Luther King, Junior, an American civil rights leader in the 1950's and 1960's who led nonviolent protests in opposition to segregation and discrimination against Black Americans.

In one of his most famous speeches, delivered in Washington in 1963, Dr. King spoke of his dream that one day the U.S. would live up to its creed that all men are created equal.

In the year that followed the United States passed a landmark Civil Rights Act and Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

President Bush has encouraged Americans to celebrate Dr. King's memory by performing acts of kindness through service to others. Mr. Bush said the United States will never rest until all citizens are empowered to realize their dreams.

Martin Luther King, Junior, was assassinated in April of 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had travelled to support garbage collectors who were staging a strike against the city.