Thousands Celebrate MLK's Birthday Downtown

Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed 50 years ago this April

Thousands of San Diegans came out to celebrate doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday Sunday.

The 38th annual parade along Harbor Drive had floats, high school bands, drill teams, representatives churches and nonprofit organizations. The San Diego Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security marched in the parade along with representatives from other government organizations. NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 also had people march in the parade.

Kim Folson, who came out to the parade, said his message of kindness and unity continues to resonate nearly 50 years after King's assassination.

"It's a fantastic celebration of recognition of MLK in our great city of San Diego," she told NBC 7.

"It shows unity in our community and it's important for our children to remember the past but also have positive thoughts about the future."

Monday, there will be an MLK march through downtown as well as the 23rd Annual MLK Community Breakfast and Celebration.

After being elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to help with the Civil Rights movement, King spoke about injustice at thousands of places around the country. 

He also wrote five books and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and was arrested more than 20 times for the work he did on behalf of Civil Rights.  

His "Letter From Birmingham Jail" and "I Have a Dream Speech" are still considered essential literature.

King would have been 89 years old Monday. 

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