Just south of downtown Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum is undergoing a renovation - and now has even more reason to celebrate its new look. The museum, opened in 1991, finished third in the 10Best Readers' Choice Awards 'Best Iconic American Attraction' travel award contest category. (Graceland - home of Elvis Presley - took top place honors).
The National Civil Rights Museum is open during renovations, which will be complete in early 2014. The museum complex includes the Lorraine Motel, and the boarding house from where the fatal shot was fired. — Photo courtesy of Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
Housed in the eerily preserved Lorraine Motel–where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April, 1968– the National Civil Rights Museum explores the history of the U.S. Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggle for human rights across the world. Its excellent exhibits offer insight into the Freedom Riders, the march on Selma and other seminal events of that era, highlighting the strike by sanitation workers which brought King to Memphis and made the phrase ‘I Am A Man’ part of the American lexicon.
Across the street from the main exhibits at the Lorraine complex, in the boarding house where James Early Ray fired the fatal shot, detailed displays provide a comprehensive look the assassination, including crucial evidence like Ray's rifle, and details about the various theories of who shot Dr. King. From start to finish, the Civil Rights Museum is an emotional journey through one of America’s most turbulent periods.
Mayor A.C. Wharton celebrated the impressive Memphis finish with a press conference at Graceland on Sept 13, 2013.
The full list of winners is here: