On Monday, the nation celebrates the birthday of American civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Actually, King's birthday was Jan. 15. He would have been 85.

One of King's sons, Martin Luther King III, has said that his father's dream of eliminating racism, poverty and violence is still just a dream.

King suggests observing his father's birthday by "doing something that will uplift the dream and make the dream become a reality," like visiting a senior citizen, helping build a house for a poor family, helping people register to vote, joining a campaign to clean up a neighborhood or doing other good works.

Several local events are planned in observance of King's birthday:

• Christ Temple Community Church in Madison will hold its first Martin Luther King Jr. Community program on Sunday with keynote speaker Dr. Adrienne Clark speaking on the theme of "Fulfilling the Dream" through education and socio-economic advancement. The program begins at 4 p.m.

• Trinity United Methodist Church will host a service on Monday. Rev. Fred R. King of Christ Temple Community Church will be the guest speaker for the event. A video will be shown at 11:30 a.m. before the service at Trinity begins at noon.

• Hanover College will host a variety of events throughout the week.

The college's annual Marade begins at 3 p.m. Monday at the campus center. A poetry slam will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Haq Center. Race in Your Face: "Whispering Behind Closed Doors" will be presented at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Withrow Center.

Events continue on Thursday with the Bill and June Rodgers Social Justice Speaker Series. "Nuns on the Bus" founder Sister Simone Campbell will speak on "Peace, Social, Economic Justice" at 7 p.m. in the Lynn Center for Fine Arts Recital Hall.