National Civil Right Museum | Memphis TN

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.

Photo Credits: National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel,  DavGreg (top), Stuart Seeger (middle)


National Civil Right Museum & Lorraine Motel
405 Mulberry Street, Memphis, TN 38103 USA
Phone: 901-521-9699



National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights MuseumNovember 22nd, 2014 at 6:25pm
In Dallas, John F. Kennedy was assassinated today during a parade today in 1963. Prior to his death, JFK was able to create the political climate that forced a mandate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also appointed several African Americans to political positions. Those appointed include Thurgood Marshall, Azie Taylor, Carl Rowan as well as others.
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National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights MuseumNovember 19th, 2014 at 5:20pm
Charlayne Hunter Gault’s decision to become a journalist stemmed from a favored comic strip “Brenda Starr,” a reporter who always got her story. According to the Huffington Post, it did not matter that Starr was a red head white girl and looked nothing like Gault– Gault still envisioned becoming a reporter like Starr. #NCRMFreedomAwards
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National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights MuseumNovember 17th, 2014 at 6:25pm
Today 1977, Ku Klux Klan member Robert Chambliss was sentenced to life in prison for the Birmingham Church Bombing. The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963 took the lives of 4 little girls and injured 14 others.
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National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights MuseumNovember 16th, 2014 at 6:10pm
Memphis blues legend, W.C. Handy was born today in 1873. He helped to shape what was later considered rhythm & blues music. Interestingly, in 1909 Handy wrote “Mr. Crump,” a song for then Memphis mayor Edward “Boss” Crump’s campaign. The song was eventually changed to “Memphis Blues” and self published in 1912.
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National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights MuseumNovember 14th, 2014 at 6:05pm
Pitchers did me a favor when they knocked me down. It made me more determined. I wouldn’t let that pitcher get me out. They say you can’t hit if you’re on you’re on your back, but I didn’t hit on my back. I got up.” - Freedom Award honoree Frank Robinson.
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