News Release

The 50th Anniversary of King Assassination

Exterior of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Exterior of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gary Tarleton, NPS

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News Release Date: March 8, 2018

Contact: Rebecca Karcher, (404) 787-3377

ATLANTA - The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park will observe the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination with special programming during Remembrance Week, April 4 – 9, 2018, to honor the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The following is a list of programs:

  • The park will host its Remembrance Day commemorative program at 5:15 PM on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, held fifty years to the day of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The program culminates at 6:01 PM with the laying of a wreath on the exterior of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
  • A silent open house Birth Home Tour will take place on April 4, 2018, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM and from 2:00PM to 4:00PM. 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. “We encourage the visitor to silently walk through the Birth Home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and explore the community and family life that guided and nurtured this future Civil Rights leader,” stated Judy Forte, Park Superintendent.
  • In the Visitor Center Theater, from April 4 -9, 2018, the 15-minute film, “The Last Days of King” will play throughout the day, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. In the film Mrs. Coretta Scott King, the King family and close associates share personal moments of Dr. King’s tragic death.
  • On April 5, 2018, at 11:30 AM, the park will open and host an exhibition the D.R.E.A.M. Gallery located inside the National Park Service Visitor Center, adjacent to the permanent exhibition area. The exhibit will be entitled From Memphis to Atlanta: 50 Forward, which examines the final days of Dr. King's life as he journeyed to Memphis, campaigning on behalf of poor sanitation workers, to his final return home to Atlanta, Georgia, for the April 9th funeral, where thousands mourned his death. The exhibit will also feature the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the King Center and the re-designation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. NHP.
  • On April 9, 2018, at 10:30 AM, the park will host the MLK50 Forward: “Together We Win with Love for Humanity” Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Heritage Sanctuary. The theme for the service is “The Drum Major Instinct”. The program will conclude at 11:30 AM. Seating for the program is by invitation only; however the program will be live streamed and available for viewing inside the Park Visitor Center and at the Horizon Ebenezer Baptist Church.
  • Beginning at 12:00PM, on April 9, 2018, a commemorative march will begin at the park heading for the State Capitol. “The March for Humanity” will serve as a global clarion call to the world of how “Together we win with Love for Humanity”. The March will start in front of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and end at the State Capitol. Following the March, there will be a Love for Humanity program and an “Inspirtainment” event to uplift and encourage the world to push the message of love and humanity forward.
  • We invite the public to follow our Facebook Page,, to follow and participate in #50Acts4MLK, an opportunity for the visiting public to participate in volunteer projects in honor of Dr. King’s commitment to service and to reflect on what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy means to them. This program will launch on April 4, 2018, and last until April 4, 2019.

For more information, please visit us on the web at or follow us on Twitter @MLKJrNHSNPS, Facebook MartinLutherKingJrNPS, and Instagram @martinlutherkingjrnps.

Last updated: March 29, 2018

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