Museum to open site where Martin Luther King Jr. killed

During a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis resident David Tate tells visiting family, in July 2007, the direction from which a gunman fired a shot that killed Martin Luther King Jr.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

Visitors to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., will soon be able to get a closer look at the place where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in the spring of 1968.

The museum, which opened to the public in 1991, is renovating and will soon be allowing access to the balcony where King was shot while staying at the Lorraine Motel, according to the Associated Press.

Until recently, museum visitors could see the balcony -- the museum is built around the two-story motel -- but they couldn’t walk on it. When the new exhibit opens, visitors will be able to step onto the balcony, and there will also be a lift for disabled guests.


King stayed at the Lorraine Motel on several occasions. During his last visit there, he was in Memphis to support sanitation workers who were on strike.

An exhibit displaying where King’s assassin, James Earl Ray, shot at the civil rights leader will be open during the renovation, which began Monday. The balcony exhibit is planned to open on Nov. 19.


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