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Anniversary events honor Martin Luther King

Forums, exhibits and other events are scheduled in Memphis and Atlanta to mark the 40th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Image: Site of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination
The National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, Tenn., built around the motel where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, is sponsoring a variety of events to mark the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.Greg Campbell / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Forums, exhibits and other events are scheduled in Memphis and Atlanta to mark the 40th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

King was shot April 4, 1968, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He was 39.

The Lorraine Motel is now the National Civil Right Museum. The museum is sponsoring many of the Memphis events marking the anniversary.

King was born and raised in Atlanta, where he served as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. He was a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, where several events are also planned.

Here are some of the things to see and do in the two Southern cities related to the King anniversary.


for a complete list of local events.

Here are some of them:

: 450 Mulberry St.; 901-521-9699.

  • Major League Baseball Civil Rights Baseball Symposium, March 28, 10 a.m., at the museum. Panel discussion with Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree and baseball players. On March 29, a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets will be held in AutoZone Park, 4 p.m., followed by a dinner recognizing civil rights sports pioneers.
  • 381 Days: Montgomery Bus Boycott Story Exhibit," at the museum through April 13.
  • The Man & The Mission Forum," at the museum, April 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Author talk and signing, "What Would Martin Say?" by Clarence B. Jones, in the museum auditorium, April 3, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Book includes excerpts from King's writings and other documents.
  • "In Remembrance There Is Life," April 3, at the museum, 7 p.m. Cocktail reception with civil rights leaders and others sharing stories of King. Tickets: $50.
  • "The Beloved Community," April 4, 9 a.m., march through downtown Memphis to the museum.
  • Candle Light Vigil, April 4, 5:30 p.m., at the museum. Forty lanterns will be lit as a roll call of beneficiaries of the movement and names of past civil rights figures are read.

Elsewhere in Memphis:

  • "Scholars in Critical Race Studies" conference, March 28, University of Memphis, Fogelman Executive Center.
  • "40th Commemorative Gospel Concert," March 30, 4 p.m., Saint Andrew AME Church. Benefit for National Civil Rights Museum.
  • "The Movement Forums," April 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. University of Memphis, Rose Theatre.
  • "Martin Luther King Jr. and Global Civil Rights," April 2, 6 p.m., University of Memphis, Rose Theatre. Speaker: Angela Davis.
  • "National Action Network: 10th Annual Convention," Peabody Hotel, April 2-5, hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton.
  • Symposium, "Where Are We Now and Where Do We Go From Here?" April 3, 1 p.m-4 p.m. Cook Convention Center. Sponsored by the April 4th Foundation.
  • April 4th Foundation 40th anniversary commemorative banquet and awards, April 4, 6:30 p.m. Cook Convention Center, honoring Harry Belafonte and Rep. John Lewis.
  • Nancy Wilson hosts "She Said/She Says," April 5, 8 p.m., Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.


: 450 Auburn Ave., NE, or 404-331-5190. "From Memphis to Atlanta: The Drum Major Returns Home," opens April 4, showing photos taken April 3-9, 1968, in the last hours of King's life and days leading up to his funeral. King's funeral wagon and artifacts from Coretta Scott King collection will be on display. The historic site includes King's birth home, gravesite and visitor's center. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

: 830 Westview Drive, S.W., or 404-681-2800. (Morehouse is King's alma mater.)

  • Screening and discussion of The History Channel's "King," April 3, 7:15 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel (on the Morehouse campus). Featuring Tom Brokaw, Martin Luther King III '79 and Morehouse College President Robert M. Franklin.
  • "40th Anniversary Convocation on the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.," Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, April 4, 11 a.m.
  • "World House: Connecting the Global Community." April 4 and every Friday in April, global webcast connecting students, scholars, ambassadors and activists to revitalize King's vision of the World House. (Link will be live when the event begins.)
  • "Renaissance Processional on Equality," April 4. Morehouse students plan to march from Ebenezer Baptist Church to the college to commemorate the assassination and support the vision of King's "Poor People's Campaign of 1968."
  • Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Ave. SE, or 404-730-4001, ext. 200. April 5, 1 p.m. Author talk and signing, "What Would Martin Say?" by Clarence B. Jones.

: 990 Peachtree St. NE, or 404-249-7015. Exhibit of Bob Adelman's photographs, from the book "KING: The Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr."

: 1280 Peachtree St., NE, or 404-733-4444. The museum is now previewing some images from an exhibit that opens June 7, called "Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968." The full show of 130 photographs dating from the Rosa Parks case to King's assassination will open at the same time as an art show, "After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy." Both exhibitions on view through Oct. 5.

: 130 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, or 404-814-4000. "Courage: The Vision To End Segregation, The Guts to Fight for It," an exhibit about Brown v. Board of Education, on display through June 22.

Drum Major For Justice Awards Dinner: April 4, 7 p.m., at Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 165 Courtland St. Sponsored by Southern Christian Leadership Council Women's Organizational Movement for Equality Now Inc., or 404-584-0303. Tickets, $75.

Note: The original Ebenezer Baptist Church sanctuary, a National Historic Landmark where King was baptized and served as pastor, is temporarily closed for restoration. A newer sanctuary across the street remains open.