Civic leaders, activists, artists and others are celebrating, marching and paying homage Monday to Martin Luther King Jr., marking the 30th anniversary of the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.
In South Carolina, civil rights leaders planned a march to their state capitol as in past years when their rally highlighted calls to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds.
The King Day at the Dome gathering began in 2000 with that call. Last July, organizers got their wish as South Carolina swiftly removed the flag which had flown at the capitol for more than 50 years after what police said was a racially motivated shooting that claimed nine lives at a church in Charleston.
The state NAACP said there is still more work to do to honor King and the theme of this year's rally is "education equity," with speakers calling for South Carolina to spend more money to help students in poorer, more rural school districts, which frequently have a majority of black students.
And this year's event will also include appearances by all three main Democratic presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.
The rally in Columbia is one of many planned nationwide recalling the legacy of King, who was assassinated in 1968.