The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a national monument located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial, honoring the American civil rights leader, was created by Lei Yixin and opened to the public on August 22, 2011. It features a 30-foot statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., called the "Stone of Hope," carved from a single piece of granite. King’s arms are folded, and his gaze is fixed on the horizon. The statue stands on a pedestal with an inscription of King's famous quote, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."

The memorial also includes a 450-foot-long inscription wall, which contains 14 quotes from King's speeches, sermons, and writings. The earliest quote is from 1955, and the latest is from his final speech, which he delivered just a few days before he was assassinated in 1968.

The memorial is situated between the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, overlooking the Tidal Basin.

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Why should you go?

  1. Pay tribute to an American hero. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a tribute to one of the most important figures in American history. Visiting the memorial is a way to honor King's legacy and remember his contributions to the civil rights movement.
  2. Learn about the struggle for civil rights. The memorial and its inscriptions provide a window into the history of the civil rights movement and the struggle for racial justice in America.
  3. Reflect on the power of nonviolence. King was a strong advocate of nonviolence, and the memorial serves as a reminder of the power of peaceful protest and civil disobedience.
  4. Connect with the community. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Visiting the memorial can provide an opportunity to connect with others who share an interest in civil rights and social justice.
  5. Experience beautiful architecture and design. The memorial's design is both beautiful and powerful, with its massive statue of King and the inscription wall containing his words. It's a sight to behold.
  6. Free admission. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is open 24 hours a day, and admission is free. It's an accessible and affordable way to experience a significant piece of American history.

Best places to visit near Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

  • National Mall. This large park area stretches from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, and it's home to many famous monuments and memorials, including the Washington Monument.

  • Lincoln Memorial. Located just west of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, this monument is a must-see attraction with an impressive towering statue of President Abraham Lincoln.

  • Korean War Veterans Memorial. This poignant memorial honors the men and women who served during the Korean War and features a wall with the faces of soldiers.

  • Tidal Basin. This large man-made body of water is located near the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and is surrounded by cherry blossom trees that bloom in the spring.

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Dedicated to the 32nd President of the United States, this sprawling memorial features a series of outdoor rooms with sculptures and quotes that illustrate FDR's presidency.

  • Jefferson Memorial. Located on the southern shore of the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial honors the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, with a grand statue and famous quotes etched in stone.

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This museum, located just south of the National Mall, offers a powerful and emotional look at the atrocities of the Holocaust.

  • National Museum of African American History and Culture. This Smithsonian museum explores the African American experience from slavery to the present day.

  • Smithsonian Castle. The Smithsonian Institution's administrative headquarters is a beautiful, historic building that houses exhibits on the institution's history and research.

  • National Gallery of Art. This world-renowned art museum features an extensive collection of American and European art.
  • 1
    What are the most interesting and unique facts about Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial?

    • The design of the memorial was chosen through an international competition that attracted more than 900 submissions from 52 countries.

    • Each part of the memorial is significant and symbolic. The figure of King surges from the looming "Mountain of Despair," a large boulder split in half, representing the division and struggle of racism and segregation that Dr. King fought against.
  • 2
    What are 5 important facts about Martin Luther King, Jr?

    • Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and civil rights activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968.

    • King is best known for his leadership in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-1956 and his advocacy for nonviolent resistance as a means of achieving racial equality.

    • In 1963, King helped organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, calling for an end to racism in the United States.

    • King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work promoting nonviolent social change, becoming the youngest person ever to receive the award at the time.

    • King's legacy continues to inspire social justice movements around the world, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in American history. His birthday, January 15, is celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States.