Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
On Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 12:30 p.m., the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, in partnership with the International World Peace Rose Gardens (IWPRG), will host its 22nd annual "I Have A Dream" World Peace Rose Garden Program. This is a free event and open to park visitors and general public. The anniversary celebration will begin in the Heritage Sanctuary of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church (circa.1922) and will end with the unveiling of 26 newly engraved winning Messages of Peace, installed along the edges of the "I Have A Dream" Rose Garden. The Rose Garden is located in the Peace Plaza, on the south side of the National Park Service Visitor Center, directly across from the gravesite of Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This year the Inspirational Messages of Peace Contest attracted nearly 2,000 students from schools within the Atlanta metropolitan area of Georgia, the state of California, and crossing global boundaries into China, the Gaza Strip, India and Mexico. The students were invited to creatively and poetically write unique messages reflecting their own personal thoughts on the life philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & Mrs. Coretta Scott King, with themes focusing on peace and nonviolence.
"This Message of Peace Contest inspires youth to use their educational skills in critical thinking, creative writing and speaking delivery, similar skills embraced by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at a very young age," said Superintendent Judy Forte. The students’ messages, stated Superintendent Forte, "also demonstrate their individual commitments to the principles of peace, justice and nonviolence."
The 2014 winning messages unveiled on May 8, 2014 will remain on display in the Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have A Dream" World Peace Rose Garden for an entire year, in which the park visitor will have the opportunity to view, admire and become inspired.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and Preservation District was established by Congress on October 10, 1980 to preserve, protect, and interpret for the benefit, inspiration, and education of present and future generations the places where Martin Luther King, Jr. was born, where he lived, worked, and worshipped, and where he is buried. It consists of more than 30 acres (13 federally owned) near downtown Atlanta. It includes 67 historic buildings, most built between 1890 and 1910.
Linda Byers, NPS Park Ranger
MartinLuther King, Jr. National Historic Site Remembrance Week 2014
April 4-9, 2014
Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee and was brought home to be buried in the Sweet Auburn community. On April 9, 1968, his funeral took place at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College.
To reflect upon that solemn occasion in history, the National Park Service along with The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Southern Christian Leadership Conference will place a replica of the 1968 wreath on the historic location of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Heritage Sanctuary as it appeared on April 9, 1968. There will be a brief program with special featured remarks from representatives from King Center, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Ebenezer Baptist Church along with other dignitaries and National Park Service officials before laying the wreath upon the church's façade. In addition, a continuous Silent open house Birth Home Tour will take place on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 10:30am and end at 4:30pm. Tours are free. To tour the home, visitors must meet at the front steps of the Birth Home where a ranger will begin the tour. "Park visitors will be in a special place at the right moment to commemorate the death of Dr. King, "stated Judy Forte, Park Superintendent.All events are free of charge and open to the public. For more information on upcoming events at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, visit www.nps.gov/malu or call (404) 331–5190.
Did You Know?
Mama King (Alberta) was playing the organ in 1974 when a young Black man named Marcus Wayne Chennault stood up and opened fire. He killed Mama King and a Deacon and wounded two other Deacons. He was sentenced to life in prison and died in 1988. No reason was ever given for why he killed Mrs. King.