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MLK day celebrations

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The nation pauses to remember Martin Luther King Jr. Monday with parades, marches and service projects.

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the federal holiday is the third Monday in January.

New York City's new mayor marked the day by talking about economic equality.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told a packed audience Monday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music that the "price of inequality has deepened." The mayor says economic inequality is closing doors for hard-working people in the city and around the country.

Citing King, De Blasio says, "We can't wait."

The mayor ran on a platform to battle the city's income inequality, which he dubbed "the tale of two cities."

He was joined by his wife, Chirlane McCray; New York's senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand; and the newly elected Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams

The event was dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela.

Among other events, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger's (NYCCAH) 13th Annual MLK Serve-a-Thon will engage over 150 volunteers at 12 sites across the city on Monday, January 20th. This year's Serve-a-Thon will focus on strategic volunteerism that will advance food security in our communities.

The Empire State Building will be lighted in red, black and green Monday night to honor King.

New Jersey residents are celebrating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday by engaging in service projects helping some of the state's communities in need. These volunteer projects are part of a nationwide effort for the MLK Day of Service. This year, the Day of Service takes on a festive spirit as volunteers are joining in on the 2014 NY/NJ SuperBowl Host Committee's Super Community Coat Drive.

Jersey Cares is partnering with the host committee and New York Cares to create The Super Community Coat Drive, the largest Coat Drive ever held in the tri-state area. Volunteers will spend time on Monday sorting through the thousands of coats that have been donated and preparing them for distribution.

In Atlanta, a service was planned at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor. In Memphis, Tenn., where King was assassinated, an audio recording of an interview with King would be played at the National Civil Rights Museum. The recording sheds new light on a phone call President John F. Kennedy made to King's wife more than 50 years ago.

Historians generally agree Kennedy's phone call to Coretta Scott King expressing concern over her husband's arrest in October 1960 — and Robert Kennedy's work behind the scenes to get King released — helped JFK win the White House.

In Ann Arbor, Mich., activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte planned to deliver the keynote address for the 28th annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium on Monday morning at the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium.

Copyright 2014 MyFoxNY/The Associated Press.

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