In Washington, Democratic and Republican congressional members, and Martin Luther King III celebrated King's life and legacy Thursday at the Capitol.
Friday is the 40th anniversary of the slaying of King on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. King, born in Atlanta, was 39.
"Dr. King possessed a voice of hope so powerful that it shook and shattered walls of oppression and lifted the spirits of the downtrodden and denied," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during Thursday's event.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will participate in commemorative events in Memphis Friday, the Republican presidential candidate's campaign announced.
A monthlong exhibit opens Friday at The King Center in Atlanta. The exhibit includes the wagon that carried King's casket throughout his funeral events, files, photographs and notes from Coretta Scott King's files on the funeral. It also includes a collection of photographs of events during King's last few days alive through his interment, April 3-9, 1968.
The exhibit is a collaboration between The King Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.