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L.A. marks Martin Luther King Day with service projects, celebrations

Washington, D.C., wasn't the only city celebrating on Monday.

Various groups in Los Angeles marked Martin Luther King Day with service projects and celebrations, some of which coincided with President Obama's second inaugural ceremony in the nation's capital.

At the California African American Museum in Exposition Park, members were invited to view the morning's inaugural celebrations in a room adorned with student artwork of Martin Luther King Jr., KTLA-TV reported. Charmaine Jefferson, the museum's executive director, talked to the television station about the significance of the year ahead.

It's the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and 50th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, she explained.

"It's an amazing year," she said.

At Belmont High School in Westlake, the nonprofit group City Year hosted a day of service to honor King. The group expected more than 1,000 volunteers, community members and public figures to spend the day working to "beautify the campus of Belmont High School and make it a more engaging and colorful place" for students.

And in downtown L.A.'s Grand Park, officials organized an "eclectic musical" event featuring local artists. The free event was scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Saturday, hundreds of people lined Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in South Los Angeles for the annual Kingdom Day Parade honoring the slain civil rights leader. Typically held on the Monday of Martin Luther King Day, the event was moved up because of the inauguration.

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— Kate Mather

 
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