MLK Memorial Opens
Week of formal galas will precede Sunday's dedication
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2011 8:07 AM CDT
Visitors to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial stand behind security fencing on the National Mall in Washington Sunday, Aug., 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – The official dedication isn’t until Sunday, but the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall opens today at 11am. The 30-foot-tall sculpture and 450-foot-long quotations-inscribed wall sit between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the AP notes. A week of white-tie and black-tie events will precede Sunday’s dedication, with guests including former UN ambassador Andrew Young, USA Today adds. President Obama will speak at Sunday’s ceremony, which marks the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and is expected to draw 200,000 guests.