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Martin Luther King: Iconic images of courage, hope

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    The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., right, accompanied by the Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, center, is booked by city police Lt. D.H. Lackey in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 23, 1956. The civil rights leaders were arrested on indictments returned by a grand Jury investigating a bus boycott.

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    The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to an overflow crowd at a mass meeting at the Holt Street Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. King, who was the leader of a Montgomery bus boycott, was found guilty March 22, 1956, of conspiracy and fined $500. King said the boycott of city buses would continue "no matter how many times they convict me."

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    The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is welcomed with a kiss by his wife Coretta after leaving court in Montgomery, Ala., in 1956. King was found guilty of conspiracy to boycott city buses in a campaign to desegregate the bus system, but a judge suspended his $500 fine pending appeal.

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    The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. reads the telegram sent to U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower by the Southern Negro Leaders Conference at a meeting in New Orleans on Feb. 14, 1957. The telegram says that a mass pilgrimage will be made to the Capitol if the president does not make a stand calling for enforcement of the Supreme Court's ruling outlawing segregation.

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    Martin Luther King Jr. recovers from surgery at New York's Harlem Hospital on Sept. 21, 1958, following an operation to remove a steel letter opener from his chest. The stabbing by a mentally disturbed woman at a Harlem book-signing was nearly fatal.

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    The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., waves to the nearly 500 people waiting outside a Harlem hospital in New York City on Oct. 3, 1958. King was stabbed and hospitalized on Sept. 20.

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    Martin Luther King speaks in Atlanta in 1960.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is under arrest by Atlanta police Capt. R.E. Little, left rear, passes through a picket line in front of a downtown department store on Oct. 9, 1960. The civil rights leader was among 48 African-Americans arrested that day during several demonstrations protesting lunch counter segregation at department and variety stores in Atlanta. With King is another demonstration leader, Lonnie King, and an unidentified woman.

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    The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. appears before 500 chanting people and proclaims all men should join him in wearing coveralls until Easter in Birmingham, Alabama, April 6, 1963. The challenge went out as demonstrations continued over segregation at city facilities.

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    The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, left, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. lead a column of demonstrators as they attempt to march on Birmingham, Ala., City Hall on April 12, 1963. Police intercepted the group short of its goal.

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    The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, left, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., right, are taken by a policeman as they lead a line of demonstrators into the business section of Birmingham, Ala., on April 12, 1963.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attends a news conference in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.

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    A man, bottom center, smoking pipe, is restrained by others as he heads for the Rev. Martin Luther King on June 23, 1963, in Detroit's Freedom March. To the right of the pipe-smoking man is Mayor Jerome Cavanagh of Detroit.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963.

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    The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, gestures during his "I Have a Dream" speech as he addresses thousands of civil rights supporters gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Aug. 28, 1963. Actor-singer Sammy Davis Jr. can be seen at extreme lower right.

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    President Lyndon B. Johnson reaches to shake hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after presenting the civil rights leader with one of the 72 pens used to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Washington, D.C., on July 2, 1964. Surrounding the president, from left, are Rep. Roland Libonati, D-Ill., Rep. Peter Rodino, D-N.J., the Rev. King, Emanuel Celler, D-N.Y., and behind Celler is Whitney Young, executive director of the National Urban League.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. displays his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal in Oslo, Norway. The 35-year-old Dr. King was honored for promoting the principle of nonviolence in the civil rights movement.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the picket line at the Scripto plant in Atlanta in support of striking employees in 1964. The International Chemical Workers Union called a strike, charging discrimination against African-American employees.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. chats with Greenwood, Miss., residents on their front porch on July 21, 1964, during his door-to-door campaign, urging them to register to vote and support his Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. listens to a question at a news conference on March 26, 1964.

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    Martin Luther King Jr. is attacked by States Rights Party member Jimmy Robinson as King tries to register at the Hotel Albert in Selma, Ala., on Jan. 18, 1965. The woman at left is trying to avoid the altercation. King was not injured.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers a speech in Selma, Ala., Feb. 12, 1965. King was engaged in a battle with Sheriff Jim Clark over voting rights and voter registration in Selma.

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    Martin Luther King, just right of center, waves to onlookers as he leads marchers across a bridge over the Alabama River on the first of a five-day, 50-mile march to the state Capitol at Montgomery on March 21, 1965.

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    Marchers cross the Alabama River on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on March 21, 1965. The marchers, eight abreast, were led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the start of their five-day, 50-mile march to the state Capitol at Montgomery, Ala. They were marching to win voter registration rights for blacks, who were discouraged from registering to vote, particularly in small towns in the South.

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    Dr. Martin Luther King, leading a 50-mile, five-day march of civil rights demonstrators from Selma, Ala., to the state Capitol at Montgomery, eases on his shoe after a roadside rest stop on March 22, 1965.

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    Roadside weeds bend southward in the direction of Jackson, Miss., as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leads about 300 marchers along U.S. 51 on the fifth day of their trek that began in Como, Miss., on June 9, 1966. King is in light trousers.

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    The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., on April 3, 1968, a day before he was assassinated at the age of 39 in almost the same spot. From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King and Ralph Abernathy.

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    Coretta Scott King, center, wife of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., walks in the funeral procession with their children and family in Atlanta on April 9, 1968. From left are: daughter Yolanda, 12; King's brother A.D. King; daughter Bernice, 5; Coretta King; the Rev. Ralph Abernathy; sons Dexter, 7, and Martin Luther King III, 10.

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    Coretta Scott King attends the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on April 9, 1968. The civil rights leader was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel when he was killed by a rifle bullet on April 4. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the killing and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in prison in 1998.

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    The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was opened to the public on Aug. 22, 2011, after more than two decades of planning, fundraising and construction. The memorial is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., in the southwest corner of the larger area commonly referred to as the National Mall. It has a sight line to the Lincoln Memorial to the northwest and the Jefferson Memorial to the southeast.

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