Dr. King would have turned 84 years old Tuesday.
His legacy will be honored at the 23rd Annual Rainbow PUSH-Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast in Chicago. The event takes place at a breakfast where those who knew the civil rights champion remember his efforts.
Rev. Jesse Jackson will lead the conversation, but he will be joined by Dr. Otis Moss Jr. Both men were with Dr. King on his last birthday.
Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is also expected to deliver remarks at the breakfast.
Rev. Jackson talked to ABC7 Chicago Tuesday about the importance of the scholarships.
"You know, He [Dr. King] was a scholar," said Jackson. "These kids have good minds, and they are ready."
In the District of Columbia, many churches will ring their bells to commemorate King's 1929 birthday. The 12th annual citywide ringing of the church bells is presented by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the Washington, D.C. Offrice of the Historian-In-Residence and the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame Society, Inc.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)