District of Columbia: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Color image of the MLK memorial
The Stone of Hope statue at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Quick Facts

Dr. King became a leader of the nationwide African American Civil Rights movement. Following his graduation from Boston University in 1955, he accepted a position as a pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. From this position, he helped lead the bus boycott that had started in response to Rosa Parks's act of civil disobedience on a local Montgomery, Alabama bus. A towering leader on the civil rights stage, Dr. King led the August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where he delivered his famousm I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd of approximately 200,000 marchers. 

Following the March on Washington, King traveled throughout the United States and the world to rally support for the civil rights movement. His efforts were instrumental in securing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1963 and the Voting Rights Act of 1964. For his accomplishments, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. In 1965, King participated in the Selma to Montgomery (Alabama) marches for voting rights, commemorated today as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Between 1964 and his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, Dr. King continued to join his voice with others to protest and speak out against inequality.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial honors Dr. King’s legacy and sacrifice. In October 2019 the monument was chosen for inclusion in the African American Civil Rights Network.

The African American Civil Rights Network (AACRN) recognizes the civil rights movement in the United States and the sacrifices made by those who fought against discrimination and segregation. Created by the African American Civil Rights Act of 2017, and coordinated by the National Park Service, the Network tells the stories of the people, places, and events of the U.S. civil rights movement from through a collection of public and private elements

Last updated: July 17, 2020