Monday Americans honor the life and legacy of the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. President Bush is marking the annual King holiday with a speech in Washington.

The president began his day with a short trip to the U.S. National Archives to view the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which declared an end to slavery in the United States.

He said it was a fitting way to start his observance of Martin Luther King Day.

"Today we celebrate the life of an American who called Americans to account when we didn't live to our ideals," said the president.

Mr. Bush will speak at length at a King ceremony at Washington's Kennedy Center. Similar programs are being held around the country highlighting community service and Reverend King's non-violent campaign for equal rights.