WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will be held on Sun., Oct. 16. The program, which will feature President Barack Obama as a speaker, will begin at 9 a.m. in West Potomac Park (on the National Mall). Others expected to participate are Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, members of the King Family as well as a slate of civil rights leaders.
The original dedication was planned for Aug .28 -- the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech. However, it was postponed due to Hurricane Irene.
"We are very pleased that the Memorial is now open to the public and to date has welcomed thousands of visitors from around the globe," Harry E. Johnson, president and CEO of the MLK Memorial Foundation, said in a statement. "We are overjoyed to announce Oct. 16 as Dedication Day," he said. "Many have worked so long to help build this dream – a Memorial to Dr. King and his legacy."
Johnson added that because of the postponement a smaller crowd is expected. Initial projections were that 250,000 would be in attendance, but now officials expect around 50,000 people.
"We are planning an event much smaller in scale but just as big in spirit," Johnson said.
Visit www.DedicatetheDream.org for the most up-to-date information about the dedication.