Reverend Jesse Jackson lays a wreath at the statue of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on the occasion of Martin Luther King Day at the MLK Memorial on January 20, 2013 in Washington. King is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON -- Dignitaries and celebrities participated in a wreath-laying ceremony Sunday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, comedian Dick Gregory and actors Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker were among those who attended Sunday's event.
Foxx told a crowd that packed the memorial that this is a "spectacular time" for African-Americans.
Sharpton called the weekend an "intersection of history," with the nation's first black president taking the oath of office for a second term the same weekend as the federal holiday commemorating King's life. Sharpton says there was a time when no one believed the country would have either a black president or a federal holiday for a black civil rights leader.