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City Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., parade begins at noon

Slain Civil Rights Movement leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Motorists in Baltimore are being encouraged to avoid the area of MLK Boulevard and Eutaw Street later today as the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will mean road closures.

The parade kicks off at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the State Office Complex at noon and proceeds south. The parade will wrap up on Baltimore Street between MLK Boulevard and Poppleton Street. There will be street closures along the parade route. Parking will also be prohibited on a number of streets until 3:00 p.m.

The nation is reflecting on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this third Monday of January -- the day set aside to honor the birth of the late civil rights leader.  While the holiday was created in 1983 after the signing of legislation by President Ronald Reagan, the movement to honor Dr. King's birthday actually began 15 years earlier, just four days after his assassination on April 4th, 1968.  It was then that former Democratic Michigan Representative John Conyers who took the initiative to submit the first legislation to propose King's birthday as a national holiday.  After years of petitioning and mounting public pressure, the House of Representatives finally approved the holiday legislation in August 1983.