Americans kept the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. alive Monday with holiday events nationwide, from memorial services in Atlanta to California's "Freedom Train" in honor of the slain civil rights leader's 60th birthday.
At a prayer breakfast Monday before a primarily black audience in Washington, President-elect George Bush hailed King as a "great gift" from God - the same words used in a speech Sunday night by Jesse Jackson, one of his former Democratic rivals for the presidency."What becomes of Martin Luther King's dreams is up to us," Bush said. "We must not fail him. We must not fail ourselves. And we must not fail the nation he loved so much and gave his life for."
Bush pledged that as president he will work to keep King's dream of equality and justice alive.
In Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was a pastor, members of the King family, Jackson, and activist actress Jane Fonda remembered King. The memorial service was followed by a parade.
Attorney General Dick Thornburgh told the church, "To Dr. King, peace and love were the only effective answers to violence and hate."
In her annual "State of the Dream" address in Atlanta Sunday, Coretta Scott King called the gains inspired by her husband "fragile" and warned "much remains to be done."
King, who was killed by a sniper April 4, 1968, while standing on a Memphis, Tenn., motel balcony, would have turned 60 years old Sunday. His assassin, James Earl Ray, was imprisoned for life.
King is perhaps best known for his moving 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington in which he proclaimed his belief in a just and equal America.
Monday was a federal holiday to honor King and also recognized by every state except Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota and New Hampshire.
Demonstrators picketed in Phoenix Sunday in support of making the day a state holiday. The holiday was rescinded in the state two years ago by former Gov. Evan Mecham, who said it was not appropriate to honor King as the only person from American history with a holiday in his name.
Civil rights activists and some Arizona politicians are trying to see the holiday re-enacted. Mecham was impeached last year for unrelated reasons.
Three blacks were to be sworn in later Monday as commissioners in Selma, Ala., where in 1965 a bloody clash with Gov. George Wallace's troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge led to the federal Voting Rights Act.