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D.C. Mayor Drops Plan For Residents Only Preview Of MLK Memorial

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray previews the memorial for members of the press and other guests last week. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial opens this week, and will be dedicated Aug. 28.
Patrick Madden
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray previews the memorial for members of the press and other guests last week. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial opens this week, and will be dedicated Aug. 28.

D.C. officials are no longer planning to issue tickets for the "D.C. Residents Day" preview of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the the day will now be open to anyone.

The preview is scheduled for Aug. 23, a few days before the memorial is officially dedicated Aug. 28.

Some 250,000 people are expected to attend the dedication. District officials wanted to make sure residents weren't crowded out of the festivities, so they set up the special, first look at the site. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray had planned to hand out tens of thousands of tickets to those who could show proof of D.C. residency.

But D.C. spokeswoman Millicent West says officials had to drop that requirement.

"We anticipated that based on the calls and other requests that we received that the demand would far exceed the supply," says West.

They've also dropped the requirement that visitors on that day be District residents -- again because of logistics.

"The district doesn't even have the authority to limit who would be able to go to the memorial on that day," West says

Because of that, anyone who shows up between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Aug. 23 can get an advance look at the towering 30-foot tall statue of the venerated civil rights leader.

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