Martin Luther King Jr. honored at events around Chicago

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CHICAGO — Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was honored Friday at events around the city.

Chicago Public School students celebrated Dr. King during an oratory competition at the Palmer House.

Fourth and fifth graders shared what they believed the late civil rights leader's vision would be for America in 2020. It was part of the annual Foley & Lardner MLK Jr.  Oratory Competition, which has been held in Houston or Dallas for the past 30 years.

This year, the competition has was brought to Chicago to remember when King visited the city in 1960 and struck a deal with then-Mayor Richard J. Daley and help enact the Fair Housing Act.

Mary Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, was the keynote speaker at an event honoring King. She took her time to tell people the alarming statistics about the nation's children dealing with poverty.

Nearly 130,000 children in Chicago go without basic needs, half a million in Illinois, and about 12 million in the county live in poverty. Edelman said we can and must to better.

Studies show a good education is key to getting out of poverty.

King would have turned 91 on Wednesday.

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