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August 25, 2011

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Other Officials Unveil Ceremonial Designation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive 

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Other Officials Unveil Ceremonial Designation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

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(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray; Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry; Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation President and CEO Harry E. Johnson, Sr.; and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy today officially dedicated Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in honor of the great civil rights leader. Officials unveiled new ceremonial street signs on a portion of Maine Avenue SW just days before the dedication of the King Memorial on the National Mall.

“As you take the final steps to the Memorial, these signs will serve as a reminder of just how far we’ve come,” said Mayor Gray. “We now pay tribute to Dr. King all the way from the historic African-American neighborhood of Anacostia to the National Mall. It has been a long, rewarding journey – but we are not at the finish line yet, especially in the District. Our march continues for full democracy in DC”

The DC Council unanimously approved an emergency resolution this summer to symbolically designate the Southeast/Southwest Freeway, the 11th Street Bridge and sections of Maine and Independence Avenues SW as Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The thoroughfare stretches west and north from the northern end of the current Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE, symbolically linking the eastern and western portions of the District across the Anacostia River and ending adjacent to the new King Memorial on the Tidal Basin.

The green street signs, fabricated by DDOT, include an image of Dr. King.

“These signs are a fitting tribute to Dr. King, whose own history is so closely tied to the District’s,” said Director Bellamy. “He gave his most famous speech here, this city swelled with pride when he led the fight for equal rights and suffered and burned when he was assassinated, and now he has returned to a place of honor among our greatest monuments and memorials.”