Tracing the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century to the present, the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel is a privately owned complex of museums and historic buildings built around the former Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Major components of the complex on 4.14 acres include a museum and the Lorraine Motel and hotel buildings. The complex also includes the Young and Morrow Building , which was the site where James Earl Ray initially confessed (and later recanted) to shooting King.
The Lorraine Hotel (originally named the Windsor Hotel)) was built in 1925. During segregation it was an upscale accommodation that catered to a black clientele, one of only a few hotels to which African American travelers could enjoy overnight accommodations while traveling during this segregated period leading up to the late 1960s in America. Its guests included songwriters and musicians that worked nearby at to Stax Records, including Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Aretha Franklin, Ethel Waters, Otis Redding, The Staple Singers and Wilson Pickett.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stayed at the Lorraine Motel numerous times. He was a guest of the Lorraine when he came to Memphis in 1968 in support of striking sanitation workers. Following the assassination King, the hotel’s then current owner, Walter Bailey, left Room 306 (the room King was assassinated in front of) and the adjoining room 307 unoccupied as a memorial to King.
The museum just recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion. See here for additional details.
National Civil Right Museum & Lorraine Motel
405 Mulberry Street, Memphis, TN 38103Â USA
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