Memphis – Day 2 – Hank

Kathy wanted to see Graceland and I wanted to visit the National Civil Rights Museum so we each went our separate ways today. As a result, we’re each doing a separate blog post. I spent most of the day at the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum is part of the old Lorraine Hotel where Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated. Also, the boarding house where James Earl Ray fired the shot that killed King is part of the museum.

Some of the museum exhibits were already familiar to me since I’d been to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the Equal Justice Initiative and the Freedom Rides Museums in Montgomery, Alabama. It begins with a history of slavery in the Americas and goes from there. But if you haven’t been to D.C. or Montgomery then this place will get you up to speed.

I remember, as a child, when King was shot but I was missing a lot of specifics until today. The boarding house part of the museum has the entire timeline of King’s assassination. After he was captured and charged, Ray pleaded guilty. In Tennessee the prosecution still has to make its case in court even if the defendant pleads guilty. So there was still testimony and evidence presented in court. Many items of evidence, including the rifle he used are on display. Overall, the museum was a great experience.


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