SOURCE: National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

March 14, 2014 13:01 ET

The New National Civil Rights Museum Opens to the Public April 5, 2014

A Weekend of Major Events Including a Parade, Candleight Vigil, Breaking of the Chains Ceremony and Community Day

MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - March 14, 2014) - The newly renovated National Civil Rights Museum will officially reopen its doors on April 5, 2014. The museum has undergone significant renovation with an infusion of $27.5 million into the remodeling of the 23-year old historic landmark. As a part of the grand reopening weekend, there are several events for general public to experience the new museum. This weekend is the culmination of an 18-month construction project.

The National Civil Rights Museum will tie the historic passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to the reopening via a forum of national thought leaders, historians, scholars and civil rights activists on Friday, April 4 from 2 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Some of the noted panelists include Marion Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund; Dr. Bernard Lafayette, civil rights activist and Freedom Award honoree; Attorney Barry Goldstein, preeminent civil rights lawyer; Bill Robinson, distinguished professor of law and civil rights leader; and historian Hasan Jefferies. Tavis Smiley is moderator.

Also on April 4, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. there will be a candlelight vigil at the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death on that day 46 years ago.

Saturday, April 5 is Community Day, which kicks off with the Freedom Forward Parade at 9:30 a.m. and features more than 20 organizations and schools marching from the Memphis Cook Convention Center along Second Street to the National Civil Rights Museum.

"We are excited to share with the public the new National Civil Rights Museum," said Beverly Robertson, president, National Civil Rights Museum. "Visitors will learn about some of the lesser known civil rights leaders through oral histories and new emotionally charged, multi-user, multi-touch interactives and visually compelling exhibitions. You will want to bring the whole family for this moving civil rights experience."

Following the parade is Breaking of the Chains, the museum's official opening ceremony. This begins at 11 a.m. with entertainment on the Freedom Forward Main Stage from noon until 7 p.m. These events are free to the public. Admission to the museum will be discounted from $15 to $5 for the weekend.

About the 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.

The Museum is located in the historic arts district of downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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 and Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today.

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