Every year in America, we celebrate the life and works of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
King's ardent efforts in advocating for civil rights and combating racial inequality and his constant practice of nonviolent civil disobedience has left a lasting legacy that has inspired and continues to inspire the world. King was assassinated more than 45 years ago on April 4, 1968.
All around the world, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient is commemorated through powerful statues, thought-provoking and beautiful murals and towns whose humble streets are proud to bear King's name.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Features: The memorial is a 30-foot statue of King that is carved into the Stone of Hope and emerges symbolically from two boulders called the Mountain of Despair and the Inscription Wall. It features 14 quotes from King's sermons and speeches.
Interesting facts: Located in the National Mall, the memorial sits on the axis from the Lincoln Memorial, where King made his powerful "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. The Stone of Hope has the quote, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope" from the famous speech inscribed into it.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Features: This exhibit features the crypt of King and his wife Coretta Scott King, the Eternal Flame, Freedom Hall, King's birth home and Ebenezer Baptist Church (Heritage Sanctuary).
Interesting facts: Founded by Coretta Scott King in King's birthplace, the center features the Queen Anne era home where King was born and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King served as a co-pastor up until his assassination in 1968. Admission and parking is free to the public.
Location: London, England
Features: The statue features the civil rights leader wearing a ministerial robe with his outstretched hand welcoming a little girl crouched at his feet (left in the photo).
Interesting facts: Located on the Great West Door of the famous Gothic church that is home to the coronations and burial places of the British monarchy, the statue of King stands amidst nine other statues honoring 20th-century Christian martyrs, including Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia and Janani Luwum, former archbishop of Uganda.
Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Facts: Founded in 1877, the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church has a history of community service that spans three centuries. King led the congregation from 1954 to 1960 and his office was in the lower unit of the church.
The Dexter Parsonage Museum, the home of the 10 pastors of the church from 1920-1992, is where King and his family lived during his time as pastor.
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Features: This museum has historical exhibits that chronicle the history of the civil rights movement, from slavery to student sit-ins and nonviolent protests to modern-day activism.
Facts: As the museum is located at the Lorraine Hotel, where King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, one of the most famous exhibits is Room 306, the hotel room where King stayed the night before he was shot.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Features: This is a 9-foot tall statue outside of the apartment complex featuring King portrayed as a Benin priest.
Facts: Sculpted by Geraldine McCullough, King is depicted as an African chief holding a Coptic cross and an Indian prayer wheel.
Locations: London, New York City, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Florida
Features: A lifelike wax figure of King.
Facts: Unlike the statues on this list that are made of bronze, these figures of the Nobel Peace Prize winner are made of wax and are located in the World Leaders sections of the Madame Tussauds museums in the U.S. and in London. The caption next to the figures reads, "Live your dream with the man who helped changed the world."
Location: Austin, Texas
Features: It displays a statue of King wearing a doctoral robe.
Facts: Located on the East Mall of the University of Texas at Austin campus, the statue is the site of a rally that happens every year on Jan. 20, which is followed by a community march that typically draws up to 15,000 people.
Features: This features a massive 20-foot steel and granite sculpture featuring a flock of birds that form one bird.
Facts: The sculpture, by Sergio Castillo, commemorates BU alumnus King, who graduated from Boston University with a Ph.D. in systematic theology in 1955.
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Features: This sculpture shows two gigantic fists removing rods from the ground.
Facts: The sculpture is located at a court that is dedicated to the civil rights leader and was created by Olof Hellström. It symbolizes King's advocacy for solving civil rights and equality issues by removing them entirely.
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Features: This memorial shows two sculptures featuring silhouettes and sculptures of both King and Robert F. Kennedy reaching out to each other.
Facts: The powerful sculpture, designed by Greg Perry, honors King and Kennedy, two important American figures who both advocated for civil rights. Kennedy gave a famous speech in this park the night that King was murdered, two months before his own assassination in June 1968.
Location: San Francisco, California
Features: This display shows a 50-foot-tall and 20-foot-wide gorgeous waterfall with back-lit photos of important moments in civil rights history and 12 glass panels etched with famous and inspiring quotes by King.
Facts: Dedicated by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and designed by Houston Conwill, the memorial's waterfall is the largest water fountain on the West Coast, and the green area of the memorial is often used for performance art.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Features: This monument includes a 4.5-acre park with a 30-foot abstract sculpture, a reflecting pond and plaques commemorating King's accomplishments and contributors who helped get the park established.
Facts: The black granite sculpture, designed by Robert Kelly, was inspired by King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech that was given the day before his assassination. The memorial is divided into three parts: 1) the Christian Trinity, 2) the union of mother, father and child and 3) 12 bronze plaques around the pool's edge that represent key moments in King's life, including his birth and his Nobel Peace Prize.
Location: Denver, Colorado
Features: This display shows a 26-foot-tall monument of a bronze statue of King that stands above bronze statues of Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Gandhi and Frederick Douglass and a main pedestal with two bas-relief panels and four granite panels.
Facts: Ed Dwight's monument features King "standing on the shoulders" of the four historical figures who inspired him along with the main pedestal that commemorates his Nobel Peace Prize and African-American history. The four panels highlight historical dates as well as quotes by King on slavery, civil rights, justice and living the dream.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Features: This is a statue featuring a man lifting a newborn boy to the sky.
Facts: Designed by Patrick Morelli, the powerful yet humble statue depicts the ancient African tradition of a father holding up his newborn to the sky that symbolizes King's bravery, courage and dignity.
Location: Fresno, California
Features: Features a statue showing King in a ministerial robe and carrying a small child.
Facts: The statue of King, designed by Richard Blake, is in excellent company at Fresno State's Peace Garden with statues of Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and Jane Addams. King's statue was unveiled in 1998 and is meant to inspire Fresno State students to aspire toward bright futures.
Location: New York City, New York
Features: This monument shows a steel cube sculpture covered in typography and quotations.
Facts: Designed by William Tarr, the cube sculpture is located on a public school in Manhattan that is named after King and is composed of six separate high schools that include programs in the arts, media studies, law and theater.
Location: Havana, Cuba
Facts: The Centro Memorial Martin Luther King Jr. was founded in 1987 to teach King's practices of nonviolence, and the mural on one of its walls features King's face as well as a school bus and various sayings.
Location: Newtown, Australia
Facts: The mural in a suburb of the capital city Sydney was made in 1991 and features King's famous quote. It bridges the connection between civil rights issues in the United States and the ones in Australia with aboriginal Australians.
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Facts: The mural by David Fichter wraps around an entrance ramp to the school and was designed by four design teams of students from grades five through eight and was painted by students from all grades along with teachers and parents. It celebrates King's life and the civil rights movement in America.
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Facts: Created by artist Pete Fecteau, three pictures of King come to life via 4,242 Rubik's Cubes (Fecteau's signature material), all of which weighs about 1,000 pounds total.
Location: New York City, New York
Facts: New York City street art at its finest, the mural is painted on the pull-down gate of a shop in Harlem in upper Manhattan. King is joined by his historical contemporaries on the mural, including Malcolm X, President Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Facts: Located in South Central Los Angeles, the Original Bill Taco House, which is on Martin Luther King Boulevard, appropriately features vivid murals of King at the restaurant by Debbie Husband, including this powerful one featuring King with his hand reaching out and one of his many famous and inspiring quotes.
Facts: A plethora of big and small cities in the United States have streets named after the legendary civil rights activist, but one existing in Jerusalem speaks volumes about King's legacy and power to inspire people all around the world.
Facts: King County, which includes Seattle and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, had its name changed to be dedicated to the pastor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1986, and his image is on the county's official logo.