Filmmaker George Lucas has donated one million dollars to build a memorial to Martin Luther King Junior on the National Mall.
Lucas says the civil rights leader has inspired millions of people, and that a memorial means King's message will endure for future generations.
Other backers of the project include Coretta Scott King, Colin Powell and Jack Valenti.
The project's organizers say more than 40 million dollars has now been raised. They say 100 million dollars is needed to finish the memorial.
Congress authorized the project in 1996, and groundbreaking is scheduled for late next year.
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Written by The Associated Press