The nation will pause to remember Martin Luther King Jr. with parades, marches and service projects.
King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the federal holiday is the third Monday in January. In Atlanta, a service will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor. In Memphis, Tenn., where King was assassinated, an audio recording of an interview with King will be played at the National Civil Rights Museum. The recording sheds new light on a phone call President John F. Kennedy made to King's wife more than 50 years ago.
Historians generally agree Kennedy's phone call to Coretta Scott King expressing concern over her husband's arrest in October 1960 - and Robert Kennedy's work behind the scenes to get King released - helped JFK win the White House.
Dr. Raul Ruiz released the following statement in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
"Today as a nation, we reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was a tireless advocate for all people and dedicated his life to the struggle for freedom, equality, and social justice. His commitment to nonviolence and civility is as relevant today as it was when Dr. King marched for civil rights. He continues to be a source of inspiration to me and millions of Americans who work to improve the lives of our neighbors. With his memory in mind, let us strive to live up to his challenge and work toward a brighter, more equal nation for all Americans."