The National Civil Rights Museum Offers Free Day on September 25

Museum observes 30-year milestone with free admission and new exhibition

Memphis, TN, Sept. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On September 25, the museum will host a special 30th Community Free Day as way to recommit and again thank the community. Thanks to FedEx, the Free Day on Saturday will allow more families a chance to visit museum experience and learn more about how the museum came to be through a new 30th Anniversary exhibition feature.

Typically, the museum hosts its weekly Free Day for Tennessee residents only on Mondays, except holidays and special events, from 3:00pm to closing. While this special free day is open to all visitors, the museum has a special link that leads guests to reserve their free passes, for up to four people per party, in advance.

In the 1980s, it was a community of people that birthed the idea of a museum through a fundraising campaign launched by the Lorraine Civil Rights Foundation (formerly the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation).  The museum would not exist without the support of Memphians who fought to save the Lorraine Motel and turned the sacred place into a world renown museum.

“We are appreciative to FedEx for supporting Free Day at the National Civil Rights Museum,” said Museum President Dr. Russell Wigginton.  “Their investment allows us to continue to share the ongoing powerful story of the fight for civil and human rights and social justice in our country.”

The museum will also highlight its beginnings and developments in the exhibition, NCRM @ 30: The Transformative Journey of the National Civil Rights Museum, opening September 25.  During the summer, the museum’s collection department accepted artifact donations from the public and staff to recognize the people who contributed to its story and its institutional legacy. The exhibit will include memorabilia, uniforms, photos, and documents to illustrate how everyday people continue to shape not only the museum, but our history.

The museum has seen tremendous growth since 1991 with key milestones in its institutional history.  In 2002 it acquired the infamous boarding house to expand its exhibitions including the state’s prosecutorial evidence against James Earl Ray who was convicted as King’s assassin. The National Civil Rights Museum completed a $28 million renovation of its Lorraine exhibits in 2014 with interactives and enhancements that create a more powerful, transformative experience to immerse its visitors. In 2008 and 2018, the museum hosted tens of thousands of visitors for the 40th and 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination during which it was the epicenter for the global commemoration. Through its programs and events, it continues to position King’s perpetual question, “Where do we go from here?”  

Throughout this year, the museum will conduct a social media campaign from visitors, current and former employees and stakeholders who share their experiences about the museum.  The public is invited to submit photos or videos about their favorite museum memory using the hashtag #MyNCRMStory. Submissions are accepted at the museum’s website.

For more information about museum’s 30th Anniversary Free Day and exhibition, visit


About the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 student visits annually. The Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights.  It educates and serves as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change. 

A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries.  It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today's Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC's Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.