While in Memphis, Tennessee we took one morning to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. This educational trip was an emotional experience. Visiting the National Civil Rights Museum is a must for families near the Memphis, Tennessee area.
On January 15th, the National Holiday and actual birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the National Civil Rights Museum hosts King Day, where they will remember the life and legacy of Dr. King with daylong activities. April 4, 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
When you visit the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King stayed, you will see that the motel has been preserved and built into the museum. Dr. King stayed in room 306. Shortly after 6pm on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was fatally shot while standing outside on the balcony of his room on the second floor of the motel. A wreath hangs in remembrance of this horrific crime.
In 2013 and 2014, the National Civil Rights Museum underwent a $27.5 million renovation to further support its mission of education, information and inspiration. There are numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum to hold the attention of younger children. Our youngest son is 11-years-old and he learned quite a bit during our visit.
The year they walked: Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956.
The only tired I was, was tired of giving in. ~ Rosa Parks.
When you come to this part of the museum, you enter the bus and an audio starts to share the history of Rosa Parks. I loved that the museum brought to life such important subjects for my kids to learn, beyond a text book at school. Some of the audio in the museum was hard to listen to how horrible people were treated back then, but I think it is an important history lesson we all need today. The inspiration behind the movement Dr. King started and people like Rosa Parks that finally stood up for what was right, was a lesson I wanted my family to know.
There is an entire room dedicated to showcasing all the information gathered around the investigation into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. The bullet from the rifle that killed Martin Luther King, Jr. can be found in this exhibit. You can spend hours reading the theories on whether or not James Earl Ray had an accomplice. The interviews conducted that day and the results of the numerous investigations and research is all on display for the public to read.
We Are Prepaid To Die: The Freedom Rides 1961
The first Freedom ride took place on May 4, 1961 when six whites and seven blacks left Washington D.C. on two public buses headed for the Deep South. The goal was to test the Supreme Court’s ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), due to the unconstitutional segregation in interstate bus and rail stations.
This exhibit is heartbreaking to see the violence from racism.
This building across from Lorraine Motel is the building that James Earl Ray was positioned in when he shot Dr. King. It is now part of the museum and you can walk his steps and see his view.
This view of Lorraine Motel room 306, is now closed-in with glass, where James Earl Ray stood. This is where he setup his fatal shot.
This mural is across the street from the Lorraine Motel.
Located at 450 Mulberry Street
Memphis, Tn 38103
Hours: 9am to 5pm, closed Tuesday
Adults are $16.00
Seniors & Students w/id $14.00
Children 5-17 years are $13.00 and under 4 is free
Members, Active Military are also free.