ATLANTA — President Barack Obama plans to use a Bible that belonged to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as he takes his oath of office, a powerful symbol of this year's rare intersection of the civil rights movement and the nation's first black president.

Monday is both Inauguration Day and the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. It is only the second time the two have fallen on the same day. Some say it's only fitting the celebrations are intertwined.

"It's almost like fate and history coming together," said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who worked alongside King in the fight for civil rights during the 1950s and `60s and plans to attend the inauguration. "If it hadn't been for Martin Luther King Jr., there would be no Barack Obama as president."

Some King commemorations have been shuffled around to accommodate the inauguration, though others are going on as planned.

King's youngest daughter, Bernice King, plans to attend the observance of her father's memory at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he preached, and said she doesn't fear the inauguration will overshadow the celebration.

"I think it enhances the observance, actually, because it heightens people's awareness about the King holiday," she said. "I also think it gives some sort of validation to the significant work that my father made to this country, to this world, in fact."

The only other time a presidential inauguration has fallen on the King holiday was in 1997 at the start of President Bill Clinton's second term. Clinton invoked King's memory in his inaugural address, and events were planned throughout the inauguration weekend to commemorate King.

"Thirty-four years ago, the man whose life we celebrate today spoke to us down there at the other end of this Mall in words that moved the conscience of a nation. Like a prophet of old, he told of his dream that one day America would rise up and treat all its citizens as equals before the law and in the heart," Clinton said in his address. "Martin Luther King's dream was the American dream."

Obama plans to incorporate the legacy of the civil rights movement into his inauguration. Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, is slated to deliver the invocation.

The president also plans to take the oath of office for his second term with his hand on two Bibles, one owned by King and one by Abraham Lincoln. As he takes the oath, Obama will be facing the Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago this August.

Having the president call for her father's Bible was a special moment, Bernice King said.

"What a significant honor," she said. "To me, it's like another elevation for my father."

Obama also plans to honor King throughout his inaugural weekend, beginning by asking Americans to volunteer in their communities on Saturday to honor the civil right leader's legacy of service. Inaugural planners also say there will be a float honoring King in the parade to the White House after the swearing-in ceremony.

In Washington and Baltimore, however, annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parades have been moved to avoid conflicting with the inauguration. The Baltimore parade, typically a major event in the majority-black city, will be held Saturday.

The parade along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in southeast Washington has been moved to April 20, the 50-year anniversary of King's release from a Birmingham, Ala., jail.

In Montgomery, Ala., where King did some of his early civil rights work while pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, the annual parade and rally at the state Capitol are to be held as normal Monday, though some prominent black politicians will miss it because they'll be at the inauguration.

The National Civil Rights Museum – the site of the Memphis motel where King was fatally shot on a balcony on April 4, 1968 – is hosting a food drive and blood drive, and touring a new exhibit focused on African-American women in the civil rights movement. However, much of the facility is closed for renovations, and it will not host an inauguration watch party.

Bernice King, who is also president and CEO of The King Center, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting her father's legacy, said she's not worried about the inauguration drawing people away from the annual celebration at Ebenezer Baptist Church, which will include watching the inauguration on a big screen after the service.

"Everybody can't go to the inauguration," she said. "Part two of our service is this inaugural watch party, so hopefully people will not stay home, but they will come and be in an environment of other people who feel good about this moment in history. It's just going to be a great day."



Associated Press writers Ben Nuckols in Washington, Adrian Sainz in Memphis, Tenn., and Bob Johnson in Montgomery, Ala., contributed to this report.

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  • First Held In Washington, D.C.

    <strong>Thomas Jefferson, 1801</strong> Jefferson's inauguration was<a href=""> the first to be held in the District of Columbia</a>. It was also the first inauguration the Marine Band played at. They have played at every inauguration since.

  • First Inaugural Ball

    <strong>James Madison, 1809</strong> Madison's <a href=""> first Inaugural Ball </a>was held the evening after his swearing-in ceremony. The ball took place at Long's Hotel. Tickets cost $4 each.

  • First Photographed

    <strong>James Buchanan, 1857</strong> The first known <a href="">photograph</a> of an inaugural ceremony was taken at Buchanan's inauguration.

  • First Parade Allowing African Americans To Participate

    <strong>Abraham Lincoln, 1865</strong> Lincoln's <a href="">second inauguration</a>, which came just months after the passing of the 13th amendment, was the first that African Americans were allowed to participate in.

  • First Filmed

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  • First Held On January 20th

    <strong>Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1937</strong> Previous to FDR's second inauguration, most inaugurations were held on <a href="">March 4th</a>. The 20th amendment, ratified in 1933, mandated that all future inaugurations be held on January 20th.

  • First Televised

    <strong>Harry S. Truman, 1949</strong> Truman's <a href="">inauguration</a> was the first to be broadcast on television, letting audiences across the nation take part in viewing the ceremony.

  • First Airplane Inauguration

    <strong>Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963</strong> Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Johnson was <a href="">sworn in</a> to office on Air Force One in Dallas - making his inauguration the only one to ever be held on a plane.

  • First Internet Broadcast

    <strong>Bill Clinton, 1997</strong> Clinton's <a href="">second inauguration</a> was the first ever to be streamed online.

  • First Emceed By A Woman

    <strong>Barack Obama, 2009</strong> <a href="">Obama's inauguration</a> was emceed by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the first woman to ever emcee an inauguration. His inauguration also had the largest attendance of any event ever held in D.C. and had the highest online viewership ever.