Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. His message of equality and nonviolent means of protest have inspired people for generations.

Martin Luther King Jr. sign at a protest Photo by Jerónimo Bernot on Unsplash
Photo by Jerónimo Bernot on Unsplash

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, but his message of equality and civil rights for all has never been more important. Here are eight amazing spots that memorialize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and are worth a visit.

1. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial—Washington, D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C
Photo by Ron Cogswell on Flickr
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C
Photo by Ron Cogswell on Flickr

One of the more famous on this list, The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a highlight. Opened in 2011, the memorial includes a 450-foot wall with quotes from Dr. King’s speeches and the Stone of Hope, a 30-foot sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

2. The King Center—Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. & Mrs. King's crypt at The King Center
Photo by B.C. Lorio on Flickr
Dr. & Mrs. King’s crypt at The King Center
Photo by B.C. Lorio on Flickr

Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center in Atlanta is a living memorial committed to the continuation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. The King Center includes Freedom Hall, The Eternal Flame, and Dr. and Mrs. King’s final resting place. They build the crypt with Georgia marble at the center of a reflecting pool.

3. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens—Raleigh, North Carolina

Dr. King Memorial Gardens
Photo courtesy of City of Raleigh
Dr. King Memorial Gardens
Photo courtesy of City of Raleigh

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina is the first public park in the United States devoted solely to Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. The gardens include a life-size sculpture of Dr. King and a water monument that honors the Raleigh-area’s civil rights pioneers and leaders.

4. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birth Home—Atlanta, Georgia

Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home in Atlanta
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home in Atlanta
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail

Part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Park, Dr. King’s birth home is a highlight of a visit to Atlanta. The National Park Service runs tours and restored the house to how it looked when Martin Luther King Jr. lived there. Tours of the house are free, but you cannot make advance bookings. Tours are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you want to tour Dr. King’s childhood home you should show up at the beginning of the day to sign up for a spot.

5. Lorraine Motel—Memphis, Tennessee

Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Dr. King was assassinated
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail
Lorraine Motel in Memphis
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail

The Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, was the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. The museum, established in 1991, has many historic collections throughout their complex. These collections include interactive exhibits, films, and oral histories from Dr. King’s time in the Civil Rights Movement.

6. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monument—Denver, Colorado

Martin Luther King Jr. Statue in City Park, Denver
Photo courtesy of Visit Denver
Martin Luther King Jr. Statue in City Park, Denver
Photo courtesy of Visit Denver

The monument to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., created in 2002, is in City Park in Denver, Colorado. The statue features Dr. King at the center of the memorial, but includes other historic figures related to the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi surround Dr. King at this memorial. The monument also includes a timeline of civil rights history in America, along with quotes from Dr. King’s speeches.

7. Ebenezer Baptist Church—Atlanta, Georgia

Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where Martin Luther King Jr. was co-pastor
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail
Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail

Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta was an enormous part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. This is the church where he was baptized as a child and, at 19, became an ordained minister. In 1960 he became co-pastor alongside his father, Martin Luther King Sr. He held this position until his death in 1968, and his funeral was held in the church.

8. Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church—Montgomery, Alabama

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
Photo courtesy of Civil Rights Trail

The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery is where Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor from 1954 to 1960. The church features a mural illustrating Dr. King’s journey from Montgomery to Memphis during the Civil Rights Movement. You can tour the church and the Dexter Parsonage, the residence that Dr. King and his family lived in while he was pastor.


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