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Contact: Cheryl Waldrep, 601.445.5395
In honor of the Civil RIghts contributions made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Natchez National Historical Park invites everyone to explore American history at their local national park at no charge. Monday January 18th is a fee free day throughout the National Park Service, and tour fees at Melrose will be waived that day. The William Johnson House is always free of charge.
Though these are not sites that are specifically focused on on Civil Rights, they teach important related pieces of American history through the stores of chattel slavery and free people of color that help explain the modern civil rights movement. Visitors to Melrose learn about the slavery based plantation economy of the antebellum years while visiting the mansion, furnished slave cabin, outbuildings, and restored gardens.
The William Johnson House tells a story of free people of color in Natchez before the Civil War. Although William Johnson was born a slave, he was freed at age eleven and later became a successful businessman, slaveholder, and diarist in Natchez. Visitors tour the family home furnished with many original furnishing and view an interactive exhibit in the visitor center.
Melrose, located at 1 Melrose-Montebello Parkway, is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily and house tours begin at 9:00 am, 10:00am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. Tickets are limited and visitors on Monday need to pick up their complimentary tickets in the Melrose visitor center. The William Johnson House, at 210 State Street, is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
Additional fee free days for 2016 will be APril 16 through 24 (National Park Week), August 25 through 28 (NPS Founders Day Weekend), September 24 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day). Come to your national park and discover the sites and stories of our shared heritage.