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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Honoring Dr. King at our National Parks

By Jan 17th 2011 No Comments »

Today, as we celebrate the birth and life-changing accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we are also welcome to commemorate the major events and influences of the Civil Rights Movement through our National Parks. 

Born on January 15th, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American clergyman and activist who quickly became a prominent leader and iconic figure during the fight for African American civil rights. Dr. King successfully led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and led the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his most revered and unforgettable ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. On April 4th, 1968 Dr. King was assassinated.

Honoring his legacy and the history of the Civil Rights Movement, we are all welcome to explore and learn more about this imperative chapter in U.S. history.

The National Park Service preserves many sites and landmarks related to Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.  To view a full list, check out this link.

  •  Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail: ‘The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 1996, to commemorate the events, people, and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March in Alabama. The March route is a component of the National Trails System, and is administered by the National Park Service… The 54-mile trail follows the historic voting rights march by beginning at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, and crossing the Edmond Pettus Bridge.’ (NPS.gov)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: ‘Established on October 10, 1980, consists of several buildings surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr.’s boyhood home on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn historic district of Atlanta, Georgia. The original Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where King and his father Martin Luther King, Sr. pastored, is also part of the national historic site. These places are critical components in the interpretation of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy as a leader of the American civil rights movement.’  (Wikipedia)

Today, visitation is high while thousands seek out to honor King’s legacy by driving or walking a portion of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, visiting his boyhood home at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site or standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking out to where a crowd of over 200,000 followers came seeking change.   And while “visitors can literally walk in Dr. King’s footsteps,” as said by National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, “Several parks will also honor Dr. King by hosting volunteer projects for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 17…It is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a day on, not a day off.

Additionally, over 100 National Parks will be waiving entrance fees in honor of the federal holiday – parks like Olympic National Park will be commemorating the holiday by making special programs available to visitors  like the 30-minute video program titled “A New Time, A New Voice,” which is about the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King.

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