Nearly 5,000 attended a celebration of Dr. Martin King, Jr.'s life at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was pastor until his assassination in 1968.
Noticeably absent was his widow Coretta Scott King, who is recovering from a stroke. There was also a presidential visit to the National Archives in Washington, DC. On view was the original Emancipation Proclamation.
Bush used the day to reflect on King's efforts to close racial divides.
President Bush says part of the reason for honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. is to "remember the remaining work'' the nation must complete.
Bush told an audience at Washington's Kennedy Center that he now supports renewal of the Voting Rights Act.