Bloomberg News

Obamas Sneak Peek at King Memorial Ahead of Weekend Dedication

October 14, 2011

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama, his wife and daughters visited the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall in Washington tonight, two days before the president will speak at the dedication ceremony.

The first family traveled the few blocks from the White House to the memorial by motorcade at 7:50 p.m. The visit wasn’t announced ahead of time on Obama’s public schedule.

Obama, 50, the nation’s first black president, will help dedicate the first memorial on the National Mall honoring a black leader. Obama has said King’s work helped make his presidency possible.

King’s image, carved in stone, stares out at the Tidal Basin amid memorials to former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the civil rights activist in 1963 gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, envisioning a land free of racial prejudice and segregation. The memorial dedication, set for August, was postponed because of Hurricane Irene.

--With assistance from Margaret Talev, Kristin Jensen and Julianna Goldman in Washington. Editor: Jim Rubin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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