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Martin Luther King Jr. Has Strong Michigan Ties

As the nation recognizes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, here's a look at the civil rights leader's Michigan connections.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated around the country, but has many roots right here in Michigan.

It was Michigan Congressman John Conyers, Jr. who proposed the holiday in 1968, which President Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1983.

Locally, Wyandotte city offices are closed Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Day. The weekly Monday night City Council meeting is canceled. Wyandotte Public Schools also have the day off.

People all across the U.S. use the civil rights pioneer's holiday as a day to pay tribute, educate, give back and reflect on the things he stood for in his lifetime.

Martin Luther King, Jr. left his mark during his lifetime as a civil rights activist, including a couple stops in the Detroit area.

Check out some of the events planned in the Detroit region.

Five ways King is tied to Michigan:

1. Original Dream Speech - King first delivered the "I have a Dream" speech to a crowd of 150,000 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, two months before the famous rendition in during the March on Washington in 1963.

2. Historical Recording - The original version of the "Dream" speech was recorded by Gordy Records, a subsidiary of Motown Records in Detroit.

3. Rosa Parks Bus - When she refused to give up her seat to a white person on a public bus in 1955, Rosa Parks, a tired black seamstress, sparked the civil rights movement that King led. That bus remains one of the most visited exhibits in Dearborn's Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

4. Visit to Grosse Pointe - In 1968, King gave a speech to a crowd of 2,700 at what is now Grosse Pointe South High School, according to the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. He was assassinated three weeks later.

5. MLK Symposium - Monday will mark the 27th annual MLK symposium at the University of Michigan. Each year the university focuses on a topic related to King in an effort to "remember the work and legacy of Dr. King." This year's theme is 50 Years Later (R) Evolution of the Dream.

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