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National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis

450 Mulberry Street
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 521 9699's insider take:

Through fund-raising efforts, the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation purchased the defunct Lorraine Hotel, the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, at auction in 1982. Nearly ten years later, the first museum to trace America's civil rights movement opened its doors at the tragically historic site. In 2002, an $11 million expansion added 12,800 square feet of exhibition space, including the exhibit "Exploring the Legacy." The exhibit traces the path American civil rights have taken since King's death and also details other historic civil rights movements worldwide. Each year, the museum honors significant contributors to civil or human rights with three Freedom Awards (national, international, and lifetime). Past recipients include Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, and Bono.

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