Remarks by Sen. Angus King, Bishop Deeley highlight MLK Day in Maine

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Barely a year ago, America's first black president, Barack Obama, marked his final King Day in office with his usual community service; now, his successor is presiding over a racial backlash the country has hardly seen in more than a generation.

However, the number of fee-free days at national parks has been cut to four in 2018: Monday (Martin Luther King Day), April 21 (first day of National Park Week), Sept. 22 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day).

In the years leading up to his assassination, the preacher and civil rights activist was less popular than ever.

"(King) would be less than inspired by the leadership in our country, no doubt about that", Kerr said.

Worshippers stood up and applauded as Watson spoke.

"Having one of our alum who went through our undergraduate and doctoral program speak today really fits", Brophy said.

WUSA-TV reports that Pence became red-faced at times throughout the sermon. His remarks came during a commemorative service for the slain civil rights leader on what would have been his 89th birthday.

"We are living that dream that Martin Luther King Jr. had", said Cynthia Vann, who is among 18 women in the Jacksonville club. Therefore, the day could be a celebration not only of King's legacy, but of his birth, according to Faye Carter, president of the Surry County branch of the NAACP, primary sponsor of an event held at LH Jones Auditorium.

"We are all still dreaming", Burnett said.

Last week in Atlanta, Trump invited King's niece, Alveda King, aboard Air Force One to watch him sign a bill expanding an existing historic site in the Georgia capital that is dedicated to King. King would have viewed this legislation as one of the decrepit consequences of unchecked late capitalism: a wealthy, charlatan president who leverages anti-black racism and fear in order to exploit the power of the presidency for personal gain.

Church pastor the Rev. Raphael Warnock also took issue with Trump's campaign slogan to "Make America Great Again". As well, Durbin and people who were briefed on the conversation but were not authorized to describe it publicly said Trump also questioned the need to admit more Haitians.

Marie Nicholson gave a brief history of the NAACP, which was started on the centennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, February 12, 1909, by, among others, the descendants of abolitionists, partly in response to lynchings in Springfield, Illinois.

Trump has denied making the statements and says he is not a racist.

Ethan Shearer, 12, of Richmond, said he's learned something of the civil rights icon. Day a federal holiday and the holiday was first observed in 1986.

This year the local SCLC theme is "Celebrating Success: Advancing the Movement".

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