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Funeral Services Begin for Civil Rights Matriarch Coretta Scott King


The funeral of civil rights activist Coretta Scott King has begun, with President Bush and three former U.S. presidents attending.

Mrs. King was the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr, and carried on his work after his assassination in 1968. She died last week after battling ovarian cancer and the effects of a stroke. She was 78 years old.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, the current president's father, are attending the service, held on the outskirts of Atlanta, in the southeastern U.S. state of Georgia, in a large church where Mrs. King's youngest daughter, Bernice, is a minister.

President Bush has ordered flags over all U.S. government buildings to fly at half-staff in honor of Mrs. King.

Monday, mourners attended an emotional memorial service at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Mrs. King's slain husband preached during the 1960s.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.