1968 was the height of the Civil Rights movement, when Martin Luther King, Jr. Came to Memphis in support of the sanitation workers' strike. He stayed at the only African-American owned motel in town, the Lorraine. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of the motel.
Following nine million dollars of renovations, the motel, and associated buildings, opened as the National Civil Rights Museum in 1991. The history of slavery in America, dating back to the 17th century, and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement are well depicted. Lori and I were in our teens and early twenties as this movement gained momentum, so it was important to us to see how history looked back on these events. There is an awful lot to see in this complex, which includes the rooming house on Mulberry street across from the motel, from where James Earl Ray shot Dr. King. We were quite moved by many of the exhibits and impressed by the thoroughness of its presentations.