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Posted at 04:40 PM ET, 01/14/2012

MLK Day in Washington: Celebrations, volunteer opportunities and more

It’s hard to imagine now, but after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, it would be 18 years until the celebration of his birthday was observed as an official holiday.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, gestures during his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. (AP)

Now, Washingtonians can choose from a long list of observances and opportunities to recognize the legacy of the slain civil rights leader. If you’d like to spend your day off celebrating his legacy or by giving back — or even if you just want to know if MARC trains are running — here’s our master list:

MLK Day events. This list of events for the long weekend from Root D.C. compiles everything from a Sunday celebration with the architect of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial to a Monday prayer breakfast. ( MORE )

Need directions to the MLK memorial? Site location maps courtesy of can be found here.

MLK celebrations. The area is buzzing with concerts and parades, according to our Going Out Guide gurus. (MORE)

MLK Day of Service. There’s no shortage of ways to give back over the long weekend. has a searchable database of each opportunity here.

MLK Day closings and commuter information. On our list of practical information: Meter fees will not be enforced in D.C., Virginia, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties on the holiday. (MORE)

Related reading:

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. through his memorial, life’s work

At Va. college, celebrating Lee over MLK?

With King in mind, pastors help the needy and preserve the dream

By  |  04:40 PM ET, 01/14/2012

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