Along the Eastern seaboard, the past week's snow and ice are clearing out just in time for observances of Martin Luther King Day. Numerous events are planned across the Triangle.
In Raleigh, a memorial march begins at 11:30 a.m. Monday on the north side of the capitol.
Last night in Charlotte, about 150 people held a candlelight vigil in honor of murdered young people. A group called Stop The Killing planned the tribute as a way to follow King's example of nonviolence. Participants lighted 117 candles, one for each of the teenagers and youngsters murdered in the city in the past eight years.
In Durham, the celebration began last night when O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran spoke to about 800 people at North Carolina Central University. He talked about the Simpson trial, race in America and ``bridging the divide.''
The Reverend Vivian Collins-Kelley urged a crowd in Cumberland County to unite and continue King's dream of progress and equality. Collins-Kelley is founder of the Fayetteville chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She urged parents to stop giving their children money to buy 150-dollar athletic shoes and rap tapes and teach them that knowledge is more important than material things.
King, an Atlanta-based minister, was the major leader of the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1950s and '60s. Preaching racial equality and justice, he led marches and protests aimed at abolishing laws that prevented integration in the South. In 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
In the spring of 1968 he was in Memphis to participate in a sanitation workers' strike. Standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, he was cut down by an assassin's bullet. The motel has since been turned into the National Civil Rights Museum, honoring not only King but all his colleagues who advanced the cause of civil rights.
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