MLK Day across the USA

Attendees hold a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. during the King Day at the Dome event, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) An overflow crowd showed up at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said this year marks the 50th anniversary of King's visit to Chicago to launch a campaign for fair housing.

Castro said King moved into an apartment on Chicago's west side and later described seeing "a daily battle against depression and hopelessness" as babies were attacked by rats and children wore clothes too thin to protect against the cold winter weather. Castro said protesters eventually got the Chicago real estate board to embrace housing laws that did not discriminate.

Across the street, at Ebenezer's older sanctuary where King preached, visitors prayed in wooden pews and listened to tapes of King speaking.

RELATED | MLK Day march in Eugene

In Michigan: Water for Flint

People across Michigan are honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. with acts of service, including delivering bottled water to residents of Flint amid the city's drinking water crisis.

Monday is the 30th anniversary of the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. Volunteers plan to travel from the Detroit suburb of Dearborn to Flint to deliver more than 40,000 water bottles and water filters on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In Detroit, a historical marker is being dedicated at the site of WGPR-TV, the country's first black-owned and operated television station.

RELATED | Rev. Jesse Jackson rallies for Flint water

In South Carolina: No Confederate flag

About 1,000 people have gathered under chilly and sunny skies at South Carolina's Statehouse to remember slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

For the past 17 years, civil rights leaders have used the holiday to argue for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse, but this summer, the flag was taken down after nine black church members were killed in Charleston.

There was more security this year than most other years because the three Democratic presidential candidates are attending.

The keynote speaker at a prayer breakfast briefly acknowledged the removal of the Confederate flag from the state's Capitol before talking at length about reducing the number of people in prisons.

Bishop James Walker opened the state NAACP's commemoration of the slain civil rights leader by thanking the group for putting pressure on state leaders since 2000 to remove the rebel banner from the Statehouse.

The NAACP then marched five blocks to the Statehouse with candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders up front.

RELATED | Confederate flag's removal turns King Day into celebration


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off