News Release

National Parks Commemorate the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. with Free Admission and Special Events

Tour groups entering Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
Visitors entering the Martin Luther King Birth Home at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.

NPS Photo

News Release Date: January 17, 2020


WASHINGTON – The National Park Service will host special events and provide free entrance to all parks in honor of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20.

“National parks throughout the country provide inspiration to reflect on issues that resonated with Dr. King, including freedom, human rights, and social justice,” said National Park Service Acting Director David Vela. “We remember his life and legacy through programs and outreach that elevate his dream of inclusiveness for all.”

A journey through national parks includes sites with direct links to the civil rights icon. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site includes the places where he was born, lived, worked and worshipped. Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail traces the path where he and other advocates marched for voting rights. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a plaque marks the spot where Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial contains a larger-than-life carving of his likeness and inspirational quotes. The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, a recent addition to the National Park Service, includes the headquarters and residence where Dr. King and his associates strategized a nonviolent campaign against Birmingham’s segregation laws and practices in 1963.

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. is an official day of service in remembrance of the man whose commitment to community bridged barriers. Many parks will host service projects on this day on, not off. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Volunteers-in-Parks Program. Join the 300,000 people who volunteer annually in support of national parks and give back to others in some of the most visually captivating, historically rich, and ecologically vital locations throughout the country.

On January 20, all National Park Service admission fees will be waived. It is the first of five entrance fee free days in 2020. Normally, 110 national parks charge admission fees ranging from $3 to $35. The other 309 national parks do not have an entrance fee year- round.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.


Last updated: January 17, 2020