A long-awaited memorial for Atlanta’s most famous native son and the movement he led opens later this month on the National Mall in Washington.

The official dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will take place on Aug. 28, putting the renowned civil rights leader in the pantheon of national heroes previously reserved for presidents.

The four-acre site on the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin adjacent to the Roosevelt Memorial is designed to create a visual “line of leadership” from the Lincoln Memorial to the Jefferson Memorial.

Here in Atlanta, institutions deeply linked to King will join the celebrations, hosting a local tribute and sending bus loads of celebrants to Washington.

The memorial was initially proposed in the early 1980s and pushed by a small group members from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., which King was a member. King’s widow, Coretta, and others joined the crusade, and the project was approved in 1998. The memorial’s address is 1964 Independence Ave. — a reference to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The dedication coincides with the 48th anniversary of The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which King led in 1963. It was the occasion for his acclaimed “I Have a Dream” speech.

Locally, Morehouse College, King’s alma mater, has been at the forefront of continuing King’s legacy. The college will host a musical tribute culminating the dedication week events. On Aug. 6, the college will host a roundtable discussion on King’s life at 5 p.m. in William H. Danford Chapel

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