Martin Luther King Jr. Honored with Deeds in Atlanta

Article excerpt

Across the city where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was born, volunteers honored him with deeds and not just words Monday, sprucing up dilapidated schools, helping out at food banks and cleaning up neighborhoods.

"I don't think Dr. King wanted us to praise him, but he wanted us to serve others in need," said Sherman Lofton, principal of Atlanta's Crim High School, one of the cleanup sites.

Mashunte Glass was off from school and could have spent the day on her new roller skates. Instead, the sixth-grader went to her middle school - named for King - to paint murals of him for a service project. "I don't know the full story of Mr. King, but I am trying to learn through his books," the 12-year-old said. "I watched a movie about him yesterday, and I can't believe he's dead. He seems so alive. I wish he was." It was one of many ways in which the nation celebrated the legacy of King on the federal holiday in his honor. In New Hampshire, which adopted a Civil Rights Day instead of a state King holiday, organizers held a food drive, then piled empty food cartons on the steps of the Statehouse in Concord. "We want to show our lawmakers that there is support from their constituents for this holiday," said 17-year-old organizer Dan Kruk, a student from Lake Forest, Ill., attending Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro. King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and was shot to death on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., where he had gone in support of a sanitation workers' strike. …