43rd Annual MLK Jr. Breakfast in Boston

(NECN: John Moroney, Boston) – Monday is not only inauguration day, it's also Martin Luther King Day, and the President was sworn in on King's bible.

In Boston, people gathered for the annual MLK Day breakfast. It's one of the oldest such events honoring the civil rights leader.

Dr. King spent his early years in Boston, and his impact is still felt there, as it is around the rest of the nation and around the world.

The Boston City Wide String Orchestra was part of the celebration marking the life and times of Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.

This was Boston's 43rd MLK breakfast, coming on the same day the nation gathers to watch the second inauguration of Barack Obama, the first African-American president.

The keynote speaker was Professor Jonathan Walton of Harvard University. He said King's message in 1965 shifted from civil rights to human rights. Yet, he says the nation has still not embraced the latter, and that includes the current president.

“To suggest in any way that Barack Obama is the fulfillment of King’s moral vision is to suggest that King was more concerned with racial representation than a moral and ethical orientation.”

A lot of state leaders are out of town for the President's inaugural, but Senator Elizabeth Warren and Governor Deval Patrick did send taped messages to the breakfast.

Students from some Boston schools were awarded scholarships at the annual MLK breakfast for essays on civil rights.

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