The National Civil Rights Museum Celebrates 25-Year Milestone

The National Civil Rights Museum Celebrates 25-Year Milestone
Museum to emphasize social justice through 2018, the 50th year since the assassination of Dr. King.
Twenty-five years ago the National Civil Rights Museum became the first museum of its kind to chronicle the American civil rights history since the arrival of enslaved Africans in America.  On July 4, 1991, the museum opened its doors to the public to coincide with Independence Day and a renewed hope for liberation and equality. This 25th anniversary continues the tradition of telling the story of a people who helped to make this nation great and highlights important battles yet to be fought.
A renowned educational and cultural institution, the National Civil Rights Museum was transformed from a site of tragedy, during the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to a site of triumph in the fight for freedom and celebration of the human spirit.  Through its exhibits and programs the museum illustrates the strength and courage of individuals who stood up against racism and segregation to demand respect and the right to equal education, public accommodations and the right to vote.
The museum has seen tremendous growth.  In 2002 it acquired a boarding house, in which assassin James Earl Ray was said to have fired the fatal shot, to create the Legacy Building. This building is not only a storehouse of artifacts in the case against the accused, but is also a testament of the struggle for justice and human rights globally.  The National Civil Rights Museum completed a $28 million renovation of its Lorraine exhibits in 2014 and has hosted millions of visitors since opening in 1991.  The renovated museum added more tactile experiences to create a more poignant, powerful and transformative experience that resonates with visitors of all ages.  The exhibitions include stories of not only famous civil rights heroes, but also highlight the everyday men, women and children who made the Movement possible.  Themes like segregation, racial terrorism and discrimination throughout the museum experience are paralleled in society today.
The museum will emphasize social justice through April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination to provoke discussion on the topic, bringing to the forefront contemporary issues like gun violence, mass incarceration and injustices that plague our community and our nation.
This year is also the 25th celebration of the Freedom Award, a ceremony that honors individuals who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights in America and abroad, and honors a new generation of leaders who embrace justice, equality and opportunity and have made an impact on society early in their careers.  Themed “And Justice for All,” the Freedom Award is on October 20.
On July 4, the Museum is open from 9:00am to 6:00pm.  However, free period for Tennessee residents will not be observed on the holiday.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.