Monday, August 24, 2015

Memphis, Tennessee: National Civil Rights Museum

During spring break 2015, my family and I took a road trip to Orange Beach, Alabama.  As we do with any road trip, we researched other things to see along the way.  Memphis, Tennessee was definitely the place to visit!  At first it was to see Graceland.  Then a friend told me about the National Civil Rights Museum.  I wasn't sure if my kiddos were ready for that level of civil rights knowledge but, after a lot of research, we decided to stop there too.  The museum's website also provided talking points for young children and suggestions for areas to skip over.  Here is our our experience at the National Civil Rights Museum.

On the way to Memphis, my family read this book.  We learned so much from this and it was a great introduction to the place we were visiting.  

This really helped my kiddos understand Martin Luther King, Jr. mission.

If you did not know, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed while standing on an outside balcony  of the Lorraine Motel.  The motel was later turned into the National Civil Rights Museum.

This is the room (#306) and balcony where Martin was shot.

FYI - you can save some money by ordering your tickets online.
We were then given these printed tickets at the museum.

Looking out of the museum from the area where MLK was shot.
In this picture you can see an entrance under the grass hill.
The Lorraine Motel section of the museum covers civil rights issues up until Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed.
From that time (1968) until current day is covered in the section of the museum across the street.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time and were not able to visit the more current section.  
MLK's room as it was the day he was killed.
Here are some of the other items/displays in the museum:

This is a replica of the "Rosa Parks" bus.  The actual bus is at The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan.
I thought it was strange that the original bus is in Detroit.  But, one of the first things you do at the National Civil Rights Museum is watch a movie that shows how involved the Ford Company is in this museum.
FYI - I didn't care for the movie (the tone/theme is a fast and jumps around) but it is mandatory before exploring the museum.  

Rosa Parks

Push the button and the bus driver will yell at you to move to the back of the bus.

Stuff like this breaks my heart.

Gift shop at the end.

While in Memphis, we also visited Beale Street and Graceland.

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