Ceremonies and special events were scheduled around the country Monday as the nation celebrated the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr.
King, assassinated in 1968, would have turned 65 on Jan. 15. The federal holiday is observed on the third Monday in January.In Washington, President Clinton was to address students Monday afternoon at predominantly black Howard University.
In Atlanta, the celebration of the ninth King federal holiday began with a "stop the violence" forum. An ecumenical service was planned at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church.
King's widow, Coretta Scott King, was to deliver her annual "State of the Dream" address, assessing the progress of the civil rights movement her husband championed. A national march of celebration was to parade through downtown Atlanta Monday afternoon.
Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders joined Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and other dignitaries in the ceremonial sounding of the Liberty Bell. At the same time, Liberty Bell replicas in each of the 50 states, London and the Vatican were sounded to mark the start of the holiday observances.