How To Visit the Martin Luther King National Memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, planned to open in 2008, will honor the life and work of the civil rights leader. The Memorial will be located adjacent to the FDR Monument on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

  1. Plan a trip to Washington D.C. for 2008 or later. The groundbreaking for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial was held in November of 2006. The Memorial, designed by the ROMA design group from San Francisco, combines a chiseled stone monument with landscaped trees and reflections from the adjacent Tidal Basin. The site sits between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

The MLK Jr. National Memorial is anticipated to open in 2008. It will be administered by the National Park Service and be free to visitors. The National Mall is also home to a number of the museums of the Smithsonian Institute as well as the US Capital Building and the Washington Monument.

For a sneak peak at the memorial, you can take a virtual tour by visiting the memorial's website.

  • Support the dream. Construction on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is on hold until the necessary $100 million in funds can be raised. Although there are some government funds available, most of the money must come from private sources. Thanks to several large corporate donors, including the Walt Disney Company, almost two-thirds of the building funds have already been raised. Individuals may contribute by visiting the memorial's website (link given at right). For a $5 contribution, donors will receive a blue wristband commemorating Dr. King's life and work.
  • Learn about the Life of Dr. King. In the over 40 years since Dr. King's death, generations have reaped the opportunities that Dr. King helped to create, but have done so without knowing much about his life. Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta in 1929, the son and grandson of Baptist pastors. Following in his family's tradition, he received a doctorate in theology and became the pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Montgomery in the mid-1950s was the center of the desegregationist movement. It was there that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and it was there that Dr. King launched a boycott of the city's bus system, bringing him national attention.

    Dr. King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and led over 250,000 protestors on a march on Washington D.C. in 1963, a gathering that featured his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

  • Embrace Dr. King's Dream of Non-Violent Change. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his life promoting non-violent social change. It is a concept that has as much relevance today as it did in the mid-1960s. Consider how you can promote non-violent change in your community. The results may surprise you.

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