U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
January 11, 2007
Contact: David Barna, 202-208-6843
or Frank Quimby, 202-208-7291

Media Advisory

Kempthorne to Speak at National Park Service
Special Observance for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

WASHINGTON -- Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will speak at a Special Observance of the 78th Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday, Jan. 12, at the U.S. Department of the Interior Auditorium. The event will begin at 11 a.m.

The observance, which was organized with Washington Metropolitan Area youth in mind, is sponsored by the National Mall & Memorial Parks Division of the National Park Service. Students and teachers from District of Columbia schools and Interior employees will attend the event. The one-hour program will feature remarks and musical selections honoring the achievements of Dr. King.

Monday, January 15th is the official national holiday for 2007 and the official birthday for Dr. King. The 2007 observance theme, In the Spirit of Unity and Service - Remember! Celebrate! Act! reiterates the importance of remembering Dr. King's work and legacy, celebrating his birthday as a national holiday and acting on his teachings and principles of nonviolence and human rights.

Other speakers at the Special Observance will include Joseph M. Lawler, Regional Director of the NPS National Capital Region. Steve Lorenzetti, Deputy Superintendent, NPS National Mall & Memorial Parks, will serve as master of ceremonies and the NPS Honor Guard will make the Presentation of Colors. The Dunbar Senior High School Vocal Ensemble will perform musical selections under the direction of Michele Fowlin-Parker.

After remarks there will be a formal presentation of wreaths. Audiotape excerpts of the famous "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered August 28, 1963, will be played during the observance.

Following the observance, at 1:00 p.m. the National Park Service will place a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial, on the steps where Dr. King gave his 1963 speech. The recitation of the “I Have a Dream” speech will be presented by students of Washington, D.C.’s Watkins Elementary School.

WHO: Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne
WHAT: Observance of the 78th Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
WHEN: 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, 2007
WHERE: U.S. Department of the Interior Auditorium.
1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240
Lincoln Memorial.
MEDIA: All credentialed media are invited to attend the Special Observance at the Main Interior Building as well as the wreath laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial. No designated media parking is available.
For additional information, contact Toni Braxton, NPS, at 202-619-7174 or toni_braxton@nps.gov













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