SOURCE: National Civil Rights Museum

January 13, 2014 15:54 ET

National Civil Rights Museum Remembers Dr. King on His 85th Birthday

Rare 1960 Interview of Dr. King to Debut at Holiday Celebration

MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - January 13, 2014) - On what would have been his 85th birthday, the National Civil Rights Museum will remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the national holiday January 20. With the King holiday being a day of service, the museum will hold its annual food drive and blood drive. The museum will present an exhibit preview and grand reopening schedule, living history characters, and a variety of performances throughout the day. Also, a rare interview recording of Dr. King expressing his position on nonviolence to "achieve a social end."

With the holiday theme "Peace, Love and Freedom," the museum will welcome thousands of visitors on the holiday during extended hours of 8:00am-6:00pm. Because of the large attendance expected that day, no balcony tours (which officially end February 2) will be offered. The exhibit "Freedom's Sisters" will continue during the holiday, but will end in March.

The 2014 celebration also marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. This year's theme was chosen to encompass the foundation of Dr. King's 'equality for all' philosophy for which he was awarded the prize.

Chairman of the Nobel Committee, Gunnar Jahn, said about Dr. King in his introductory speech, "He is the first person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence. He is the first to make the message of brotherly love a reality in the course of his struggle, and he has brought this message to all men, to all nations and races."

"Dr. King was the most significant human rights leader of our time," said Beverly Robertson, president of the National Civil Rights Museum. "It is a privilege for the museum to tell the comprehensive story of Dr. King's life. Through the museum's exhibits and celebrations, his teachings and legacy are available and relevant to not only those who lived during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, but also to a younger generation who needs and wants to better understand the impact Dr. King and the movement is having on their lives today."


  • In the spirit of community service and brotherly love, the museum is continuing the partnership to serve those in need. The annual King Holiday Food Drive offers the incentive to donate canned good items and receive $1 off the $3 King Holiday admission. The food drive will benefit the Mid-South Food Bank, which serves 31 counties in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Visitors can also receive free museum admission for up to four people by donating a pint of blood to Lifeblood Mid-South Regional Blood Centers either at their mobile unit at the museum or any of their centers on the King Holiday. The free admission offer is valid January 20-27.
  • Guests this year will be treated to a recently discovered interview recording of Dr. King that will be played in the courtyard throughout the day. The recording was donated to the museum in July by magician David Copperfield. King Day will mark the first day the recording will be publicly broadcast at the museum.
  • Activities include musical and dramatic performances featured on the main stage. A children's activities tent will include arts, crafts and storytelling to teach more about Dr. King and youth character development. A social media tent with prize giveaways will highlight the museum's renovation and grand reopening events with a presentation and Q&A. There will also be an opportunity to submit your video entry for the museum's "Drop the Mic" Poetry Slam event.

The presenting sponsor for the King Holiday is Ford Motor Company. Event activities are sponsored by Macy's Foundation, ServiceMaster, Coca-Cola and Mahaffey Tent & Party Rentals.


8:00a-9:30a DJ/Music, Social media giveaways and announcements

9:30a-9:40a King interview recording airs

10:00a Carla Colbert Taylor performance

10:30a Mime troupe performance

11:00a Social media giveaways and announcements

11:30a Nubian Theatre performance

12:00p JKSN Ave performance

12:30p DJ/Music, Social media giveaways and announcements

1:00p Dunbar Elementary Step Team performance

1:30p JKSN Ave performance

2:00p DJ/Music, Social media giveaways, Grand Reopening presentation with Q&A

3:00p RSVP acapella performance

3:30p Dunbar Elementary Step Team performance

4:00p Soloists Mondera Henry and Debra Barnes, accompanied by Calvin Barnes

4:30p King interview recording airs

4:40p-6:00p DJ/Music, Social media giveaways, Grand Reopening presentation with Q&A

The National Civil Rights Museum is located at the historic Lorraine Motel, site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The Museum opened in 1991 and chronicles the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 with historical exhibits, including Room 306, the hotel room where Dr. King stayed in April of 1968. The Museum operates as a nonprofit with an average of 200,000 visitors a year and serves as an educational, cultural and site of conscience for all visitors. Visit our website at or call (901) 521-9699.

Contact Information

  • For more information about the King Holiday and the grand reopening events: 
    (901) 521-9699 x2223