Legacy Building | National Civil Rights Museum

The Legacy Building

The movement continues worldwide today


The last day to see the Legacy Building exhibitions is May 1, 2023, as the boarding house exhibitions will close for a two-year renovation project. 

A visit to the Legacy Building (the boarding house from where the assassin's shot was allegedly fired) begins with the American Civil Rights Movement Timeline. The timeline encapsulates in chronological order the history once presented in the Lorraine exhibits up to the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On the second floor of the Legacy Building, the history continues with the investigation of the assassination, the case against James Earl Ray, and ensuing conspiracy theories. The first-floor exhibits illustrate the Movement’s impact on human rights efforts globally and end with a call to action for all to continue the legacy of the American civil rights movement.

U.S. Civil Rights Movement Timeline (1619- April 1968) The quest for civil rights began nearly 400 years ago when the first enslaved Africans were brought to these shores. It is a complex history that has defined the lives of generations of African Americans and everyone in this country. It has inspired people throughout the world. This timeline covers history up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

Final Days (November 1967- April 1968) A timeline of movement by Dr. King and his accused assassin, James Earl Ray.

Search for the Killer (April 4- June 8, 1968), the Young & Morrow rooming house Examine the rooming house where James Earl Ray stayed on the day of the assassination, the bathroom window documented as the site of the fatal shot, evidence recovered at the scene, and evidence leading to the capture and arrest of James Earl Ray.

Lingering Questions Explore the lingering questions surrounding the assassination. Did James Earl Ray act alone? Was there a conspiracy?

Freedom Award Wall A call to action for those of any age, race, gender, nationality or religion, who want to continue the pursuit of freedom, justice and peace. The movement served as an example for others and inspired courageous participation in the fight for human rights around the world. The Freedom Award wall portraits are recipients of the museum’s national and international recognitions.

We Want to be Free An eight-minute video presentation highlights the human rights movements of South Africa, China, Russia, and America

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