Birmingham kicks off Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with a special appearance by Jesse Jackson

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Join the Reverend Jesse Jackson at Birmingham’s iconic 16th Street Baptist Church this Sunday, January 8, 2016, as he preaches in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s upcoming birthday. The service begins at 10:45 a.m.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. at the 16th Street Baptist Church, delivering the eulogies for Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. Photo by Matt Herron, courtesy of Take Stock/The Image Works via Time Magazine

The significance of Jackson addressing the congregation of the 16th Street Baptist Church is abounding, as it was bombed on September 15, 1963, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The blast killed four young girls: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley.

Compilation photos via PBS

Twenty-two people were also injured that day, just a little over two weeks after King delivered his I Have A Dream speech at the March on Washington.

You can read and/or listen to the speech here. King also delivered the eulogies for the children at the church, and you can watch it below:

King’s official birthday is on January 15, and we celebrate it as a nation in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, this year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.

January 16 is also the day that the King Unity Breakfast in Birmingham will be held, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in the BJCC North Exhibition Hall.

Please visit this link to purchase tickets, and for more information on the breakfast, call The Community Affairs Committee of Birmingham, (205) 938-4655.

The theme of the breakfast is: Birmingham Unity: Embracing Liberty and Justice for All” and will feature a musical performance by The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Choir and a catered breakfast by Chef Clayton Sherrod.

Honorable Houston L. Brown, the first African American Presiding Judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit in Jefferson County, will deliver the keynote address. The program will also feature presentations by Mayor William A. Bell, Sr., Council President Johnathan Austin and other city officials.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta. He was killed April 4, 1968 in Memphis. Jackson was with King at the time he died.

Jackson has been publicly known since his days with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), working beside Dr. King throughout the Civil Rights Movement.

Photo by John H. White, via the National Archives