“A national park is a meaningful place to remember and honor Dr. King, whether one participates in a day of service or visits a site with a direct connection to the man who moved hearts and minds in the struggle for civil rights and equality,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds.
According to a press release, guests can reflect on his life and legacy at parks with personal ties to Dr. King:
- Visit the home where he was born and spent the first 12 years of his life, as well as the church where he preached, at the Martin Luther King Jr., National Historic Site in Atlanta, Ga.
- Trace the steps he marched in the fight for voting rights on the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.
- Stand on the exact spot where he stood while delivering the “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
- Gaze at his larger-than-life carving and read his inspirational quotes at the Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial.
Special events on Jan. 15 include the ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park and the program “Through Our Voices: Get the Word Out!” at San Francisco’s Maritime National Historical Park featuring poets, musicians and a panel of African American park rangers who will share stories about the struggles for social justice.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an official day of service in remembrance of the man whose commitment to community bridged barriers. Many parks will host service projects on this day as well.
All National Park Service sites will have free admission on January 15 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It will be the first of four nationwide. Normally, 116 national parks charge admission fees which range from $3 to $30. The other 301 national parks do not have an entrance fee.