SOURCE: National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

April 01, 2015 12:44 ET

National Civil Rights Museum Remembers Dr. King on Anniversary of His Death

47th Commemoration Event Features March From Mason Temple to Lorraine Motel, Musical Tribute and Ceremonial Laying of the Balcony Wreath

MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - April 01, 2015) -  The annual April 4th Commemoration at the National Civil Rights Museum is a community-focused observance of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the anniversary of his death at the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968.

This year the Church of God In Christ (COGIC) and the City of Memphis are joining the National Civil Rights Museum in the April 4th Commemoration, "Heartache to Harmony - A Memphis Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." COGIC will conduct a march starting from Mason Temple, where Dr. King gave his famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. After the march, a combined program of COGIC, City of Memphis and the Museum will feature the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Central High School Choir, vocalist Debra Manning Thomas, music from local artists Justin Merrick and Al Kapone. The program will start at 10:30am, and kick off a day-long commemoration to Dr. King.

"We are very excited to again unite with the community to remember the man that is the reason for the National Civil Rights Museum's existence. Dr. King's sunrise and his sunset are milestones for us and we encourage everyone to remember, but then respond to the issues facing our communities today, in a manner that would make Dr. King and all those foot soldiers proud," said Museum President Terri Lee Freeman. "We hope that the people of Memphis and those visiting the city will come to the Museum and join us on April 4thas we reflect and push forward in remembrance of Dr. King."

In the afternoon, the Museum will broadcast recorded speeches by Dr. King in the courtyard along with Movement music from different genres and protest periods.

At 5:30pm the Museum's April 4th Commemoration will feature the changing of the wreath on the balcony of Room 306 where Dr. King was slain and a moment of silence at 6:01pm, the time the fatal shot was fired in April 1968. The guest speaker is Rev. Earle Fisher, the pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Memphis and Adjunct Instructor of Contemporary Theology at Rhodes College. 

Saxophonist Steevon Hunter will play "Precious Lord," one of Dr. King's favorite songs. The program will conclude with a salute to Dr. King by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., of which King was a member.

April 4th Events - Museum Courtyard (All events are FREE):

  • 10:00 - COGIC March from Mason Temple to  National Civil Rights Museum
  • 10:30 - "From Heartache to Harmony: A Musical  Tribute to Dr. King, Museum courtyard
  • 12:30-5:00 - Courtyard broadcast of Dr. King's  speeches and movement music
  • 5:30 - Tribute on the Balcony, with 6:01p moment  of silence, Museum courtyard

Interview Opportunities

  • Terri Lee Freeman, Museum President, National  Civil Rights Museum
  • Barbara Andrews, Director of Education and  Interpretation, National Civil Rights Museum


The National Civil Rights Museum located at the Lorraine Motel, the assassination site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., chronicles key episodes of the American Civil Rights Movement and the legacy of this movement to inspire participation in civil and human rights efforts globally, through its collections, exhibitions and educational programs.

An internationally acclaimed tourist attraction, the Museum was voted third among USA Today's Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC's Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal.

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