Everyone knows of Martin Luther King, but how many of our followers know "Michael Luther King"? The senior MLK was originally named "Michael Luther King" by his mother, over the objections of his father, who favored the name "Martin". As the grandfather lay dying, he urged the senior MLK to change his name to "Martin". The younger MLK was six years old when his name changed also, in order to stay a "Junior".
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born here in the Sweet Auburn section of Atlanta and later preached at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Both are on the same block and make up part of the 35 acre "Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site." It did take some navigation to get there from our apartment (the #27 bus to Midtown Terminal, the subway three stops to downtown, followed by a 3/4 mile walk to Centennial Olympic Park, where we caught a streetcar to the site). That was the easy part. In order to see the inside of MLK 's birth home, you have to sign up at the National Park Service's Visitor Center down the street, for one of their guided tours. Tours start at 10 am and are limited to 15 people each time. They fill up quickly, so even if you get there early, the timed tour to which you are assigned may be later in the day. And the Park Service doesn't take pre-registrations. You can only sign up on the day you are there. Still there is a lot to see in the complex while you wait. The original Ebenezer Baptist church, where MLK's father and he both preached, is opposite the Visitor's Center (the newer, more modern church next door is not open to the public tours). Just a few doors away from MLK's home is the historic Fire Station No. 6, where King and his brother, A.D., used to shoot basketballs with the firefighters. Since we love history, this was a great day for us.