A graphiti of Martin Luther King with a quote on a wall. A graphiti of Martin Luther King with a quote on a wall.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park: A Legacy Tour

Martin Luther King‘s relentless activism and his oratory skills touched the minds of many. He served the world with his activism until he was assassinated in 1968.

If you are someone who wants to know more about Martin Luther King, you should visit this historical park located in Georgia, Atlanta. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd of demonstrators at the March on Washington
Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash  Copyright 2020

1. Tours of Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

At the very first, you will be taken to the visitor center. At the visitor center, tickets, maps, and brochures will all be provided. Those visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park to learn more about King jr will find the orientation session informative and useful as they walk along the park. The Courage to Lead exhibit and the Children of Courage exhibit are parts of the orientation session where one can learn more about Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Georiga, Atlanta, on  January 15, 1929, and lived in this neighborhood until he was 12. The 30-minute tour of the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr. walks you through the journey of King’s childhood stored away in the 2-story building.

1.1 Ebenezer Baptist Church

Founded in 1886 by a jury of 13 faithful people, Ebenezer Baptist Church has become a place open for Atlanta visitors. A few blocks away from his birth home is Ebenezer Baptist church. The name Ebenezer is derived from the “Books of Samuel,” which defines Ebenezer as the “Stone of Help.” Admirers of Martin Luther King jr would be delighted to visit the same church where Martin was baptized as a child. The Ebenezer Baptist Church became the spiritual home of Martin Luther King Jr.

Not only was Martin Luther King baptized in the Ebenezer Baptist Church, but he later became a co-pastor of Ebenezer, where he accompanied reverend Martin Luther King until he was assassinated in 1968. He was an African American Missionary Pastor.

The logo of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Photo by Tayshawn Royster on Unsplash  Copyright 2019

1.2 King Center

A few miles away from the Ebenezer Baptist Church is the King Center. Coretta Scott King founded this center in memory of her husband, who had passed away. King Center celebrated its 55th anniversary on 26th July 2023.  The King Center, established almost 50 years ago, has become a home for Nonviolent Social Change. At the very center of King Center lies the eternal flame of the late Martin Luther King Jr.

1.3 World Peace Rose Garden

This garden at Sweet Auburn is planted with something more than roses, with the mission of spreading the word on international world peace. This historic site is essential in teaching future generations the economic and cultural significance of peace, freedom, and the civil rights movement.

The World Peace Rose Garden program took the initiative to host an international virtual contest celebrating International world peace. The World Peace Rose Garden has over 150 roses. Visitors can stop by and enjoy the pleasant ambiance of these lively gardens.

Virtual Ceremony of the Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” World Peace Rose Garden, Atlanta

1.4 Fire Station No. 6

The National Park Foundation organizes and takes heed of the National Parks across the USA. Under the supervision of which, the Historical Park is also home to Fire Station No.6. This fire station is the oldest in the city. Walk up to the visitor center to access the ticket to the fire station. Situated where Auburn Avenue intersects the Boulevard, this Fire station is historically significant as it was the fire station to hire African American Firefighters.

2. Gandhi as King’s Idol

Among the many revolutionaries of the world, one that King idolized was Mahatma Gandhi. A man wearing khaki dhotis and round specs, who had the courage and strength to fight against the entire British Dynasty. Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the United States is immense, and it is only fair that King also received inspiration from him.

Martin Luther King was amazed by Gandhi’s notion of humanity evolving by protesting peacefully. It was not until Martin Luther King’s Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 that he truly understood the value of Gandhi’s ideologies and principles. King even visited India to learn more about his idol, Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King’s contribution to the civil rights movement enabled raising the living standards of many African Americans in the 1950s-60s USA.

2.1 The Gandhi Pilgrim

The Gandhi Promenade, or the statue of Mahatma Gandhi right in the middle of the King Center, is essential to know more about Martin Luther King Jr.’s idol. Gandhi and Martin Luther King were ambassadors of peace and worked to achieve economic and political peace and stability.

The Gandhi Statue was installed at King Center in the year 1998 with the goal of better propagating the ideals and philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. This statue of Gandhi is nothing less than a pilgrimage spot for other world peacemakers.

The National Historical Park is one of the many places across the United States where statues of Gandhi have been installed. Gandhi’s statue can be seen in Washington, New York, and California.

3. The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame

History is not meant to be read through books; it is meant to be felt through stories. You can probably feel the story and the fight that was the international civil rights movement. The Walk of Fame is a significant part of the modern civil rights movement as it becomes a reminder of the tumultuous times people have gone through. The national historical park pays tribute to Martin Luther King and many other heroes and survivors of America’s history.

Dr. Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, and Bernard Parks are some of the names on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.

4. King’s Last Breath

Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929. Martin Luther King contributed to international world peace and the civil rights movement. His birth home was in the Atlanta neighborhood of the Sweet Auburn community. He was baptized at Ebenezer Baptist church. Young Martin King grew up on Auburn Avenue.
He was a revolutionary who changed many minds with one of his most famous works, the “I Have a Dream” speech.

He contributed significantly to the development of the United States. He was an ambassador of peace, civil rights, and black lives.

Both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King were assassinated. All they left behind were their ideologies, philosophy, and teachings. With vast similarities between Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., a major and striking one is that both were assassinated. Mahatma Gandhi was killed by Ramachandra Vinayak Godse in the year 1948. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. Brutality never left the lives of these leaders.

5. King’s Gravesite at National Historical Park

On 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King took his last breath in Tennessee, United States, where he was shot on his hotel balcony.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s tomb is between Auburn Avenue and Ebenezer baptist church. His wife, Coretta Scott King, has her tomb beside her husband. The National Historical Park pays tribute to King’s presence through his memorial tomb. The tomb is a famous spot visited by many visitors today.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s grave lies at the center of King Center, where the eternal flame shines brightly.

6. Things to Know Before Visiting to Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

People walking inside a historical Park.
Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash Copyrights 2021

Here are some of the things you need to know before planning a visit to Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park:

 1. Free Entry

The National Park Service includes the National Historical Park, so don’t worry about your dollars. It’s FREE! Just like America was from its shackles of racism after the civil rights movement.

 2. Book the Tours Tickets in Advance

Tours are not always available. Probably, it owes its pertinence to it being free of cost. The immense popularity of the national historical park calls for booking a seat beforehand.

3. The Places to Visit

The National Park Service provides an in-depth tour of many significant places. You can visit the Civil Rights Walk of Fame, Rose Garden, MLK’s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Rose Garden, and MLK’s tomb.

4. Parking

Make sure you are parking in the proper place. The parking lot by the visitor center is suitable and the most convenient place to park your vehicles.

5. Best Day to Visit

The best time would be either Weekend, as in Sunday Morning, or early morning during the weekdays. Think Monday or Tuesday. You can also visit the MLK National Historical Park on Martin Luther King Day.

Some places in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park are on a first-come, first-served basis, so you must be quick!

Yet, if you cannot find a seat for your tour, here are some places you can explore instead!

7. Other Spots near Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

7.1. Martin Luther King Memorial

The Martin Luther King Memorial is right next to the National Mall. The National Park Service’s 395th unit is this national memorial. The main tourist attraction of this memorial is the ‘Stone of Hope’ statue of Martin Luther King. This statue opened to the people on August 22, 2011. The opening of this memorial in 2011 marked Martin Luther King as the first African American to have a remembrance of his own.

Statue of Martin Luther King in the Martin Luther King Memorial
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash Copyright 2021

7.2. Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is also a part of the National Park Service. Abraham Lincoln was the ambassador of peace and unity and an essential part of the civil rights movement. As Walt Whitman wrote in his poem addressed to Lincoln, “O Captain My Captain,” he was the captain of the ship, USA.
A memorial has been established and placed of Lincoln. The memorial was open to the public in 1992.

A statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting on a chair in the Lincoln Memorial.
Image by dcandau from Pixabay Copyright 2015

7.3. Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

Better can be learned about the USA’s fight against civil injustice and violent policing when one visits the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. This Monument of Alabama is part of the National Park Service. This national monument was established in 2017.
This national monument pays tribute to various civil rights movements in Birmingham.

7.4. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

This Battlefield Park is a spitting reminder of the War and bloodshed that was the civil rights movement. For almost a month on stretch, this area was the place of inhuman slaughter. One thousand four hundred soldiers once lay dead on the grounds of this Battlefield.

7.5. Selma to Montgomery March trail

The March trial in Alabama was an essential establishment of 1996. A trial led by none other than King himself, the inspiration which he received from his idol Mahatma Gandhi. This 54-mile trail march was made in demand of Voting Rights in Alabama in 1965. The March started on 21st March and continued up to 25th March.

The long March and fight of 3 days was triumphant as it led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 End Notes

Dr.Martin Luther King has had an influence not just in the United States but also in places across the globe. He was born and raised in the lively neighborhood of Atlanta and a catholic environment, which helped build deep Christian values in him. King believed in the power of true love. He believed in Gandhi’s ordeal to bring about peace through not war and bloodshed but through love and peaceful means. Excerpts from Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream” have found a home on the Lincoln Memorial.

Martin Luther King’s contribution to the United States and towards providing fundamental rights to the black community has come a long way forward. The end of the Civil War in the USA increased the number of Black-owned businesses. Black churches became safer by advocating and encouraging racial equality and equal participation. Through the contributions of revolutionaries and leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, the USA has become a democracy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a National Park?

An area built or preserved by the state’s government that has a historical significance, scientific interest, or simply as a memorial to its people. The goal of a national park is usually for the public’s amusement. This is generally done by keeping most of the set environment fixed, as it were.

2. Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?

Martin Luther King Jr. inspired America with his relentless activism. His contribution to the development of the United States is immense. He played a significant part in restoring America to its state of tranquility after the Civil War, tearing it to shreds. He was a devoted Christian and administered the church Ebenezer as a Baptist Minister.  Martin Luther King was born on 15 January 1912 and was assassinated in 1968. Throughout his life, he fought against the civil injustice against black people.

3. Where was Martin Luther King Jr. born?

Martin Luther King Jr. was born at 501 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia.

4. Where is the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park situated?

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park is at 450 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, USA.

5. When is the National Historic Site open?

You can visit the Historical Park every day of the week, excluding the days of occasion from 10 am to 5 pm. Guided tours are organized by the National Park Service, where one can learn more about the legacy and works of Martin Luther King Jr.

6. Where was Martin Luther King Jr. baptized?

Martin Luther King Jr. owed his Christian values to the Ebenezer Baptist church. He was baptized in the same church, the tour of which is a part of the National Historical Park.

7. Is the tour of the National Historical Park part of the National Park Service’s guided tours?

The National Park Service arranges guided tours of almost all the National Parks under its domain. The ticket for a guided tour can be taken from the Visitor Center. Due to the large number of people visiting this Historical site, booking a seat beforehand is advised.

8. What are other places of historical significance in Atlanta?

Some other Historic Sites in Atlanta are the Atlanta History Center, Margaret Mitchell House, and Rhodes Memorial Hall.

Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by ayeshayusuf


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