Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta Georgia
Capture The Dream. On 1/15/1929, a son was born to the Reverend and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr., in an upstairs bedroom in Atlanta. It was in these surroundings of home, church (Ebenezer Baptist Church), and neighborhood (Sweet Auburn) that "M.L." experienced family, Christian love, segregation in the days of Jim Crow laws, diligence and tolerance.
Birth Home - The Birth Home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., may be visited only with a park ranger led tour. The tours are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for the tour at the National Park Service Visitor Center in person upon arrival to the park. The tour is strictly limited to 15 people per tour! They fill up fast on weekends and holidays.
The King Center - The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. Mrs. Coretta Scott King established The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. in 1968 to preserve the legacy of her husband. While at The King Center visit the final resting place of Dr. King, Jr. and exhibits on him, Coretta Scott King, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Visitor Center - Inside of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visitor Center. A portion of the "Courage to Lead" exhibit.A staffed Information Desk is located just inside the front doors of the National Park Service Visitor Center. This is the place to stop for a brief orientation to the historic site, which facilities are open, how to sign up for a Birth Home tour, and where the nearest restroom is.
Located in the lobby of the Visitor Center is the "Children of Courage" exhibit, which is geared towards our younger visitors. This exhibit tells the story about the children of the Civil Rights Movement with a challenge to our youth today.
While in the Visitor Center don't miss the featured exhibit entitled "Courage To Lead" which follows the parallel paths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement. Also, walk down "Freedom Road". Video programs are presented in the Visitor Center Theater on a continuing basis.
Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church - Throughout its long history, Ebenezer Baptist Church has been a spiritual home to many citizens of the "Sweet Auburn" community. Its most famous member, Martin Luther King, Jr., was baptized as a child in the church. After giving a trial sermon to the congregation at Ebenezer at the age of 19 Martin was ordained as a minister. In 1960 Dr. King, Jr. became a co-pastor of Ebenezer with his father, "Daddy" King. He remained in that position until his death in 1968.
As a final farewell to his spiritual home Dr. King, Jr.'s funeral was held in the church.
In 2000 a study of the church building resulted in "Ebenezer Baptist Church, Historic Structure Report" being issued by the National Park Service. This reports serves as a guideline for the restoration of the church.
Firestation No. 6 - Fire Station No. 6 was built in 1894 and served the "Sweet" Auburn community until 1991. Hear about the desegregation of the Atlanta Fire Department and view a 1927 American LaFrance fire engine at the museum. The Eastern National Bookstore is also located here.
The GPS Ranger
The GPS Ranger is a self-guided multimedia device that guides you through the historic Sweet Auburn Area. Hear Dr. King's message of social justice and equality, view images of the civil rights movement, and experience the aftermath of his untimely death, all in the palm of your hand.
This device also provides an alternative to visitors who are unable to take the tour of the Birth Home during high visitation. The GPS Ranger can be rented for a small fee during your visit and is available at the Eastern National Bookstore, inside of Fire Station #6, located on the corner of Auburn Ave and Boulevard.
Operating Hours & Amenities
Winter operation hours start mid August and last through mid June. The park opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm daily. The first tour of Dr. King's Birth Home starts at 10 am. and the last tour for the day is 5 pm. The Birth Home tour lasts 30 minutes and is conducted every hour.
Summer operation hours start mid June and last through mid August. Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day The park opens at 9 am and closes at 6 pm daily. The first tour of Dr. King's Birth Home begins at 9:30 am and the last tour is 5:30 pm. The Birth Home tour lasts 30 minutes and is conducted every half hour.
Register at the Visitor Center Information Desk. .
Amenities: parking, public restrooms, accessibility for mobility-impared and party facilities.
Fees & Reservations, Phone, Address & Website
Free admission. No special arrangements are needed since most of the park is self-guided. However, you will need to register to tour the Birth Home of Dr. King. Reservations for touring the Birth Home are handled on a first-come first-serve basis the day of your tour, in person. No advance reservations can be made.
There are only 15 persons permitted on a tour. Tours fill up quickly, so arrive early in the day. Groups can reserve up to three spaces (45 persons) the day of their tour. Register at the Visitor Center Information Desk.
Dr. King earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Morehouse College, his Bachelor of Divinity from Crozier Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of philosophy from Boston University.
On April 3, 1963, civil rights forces led by Dr. King launched a drive against discrimination in Birmingham, AL. The city's police force, led by Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor, used high-powered water hoses and dogs against demonstrators. The brutality of the repression aroused public opinion.
Daddy King was named Michael Luther King by his mother. His first son was Michael Luther King, Jr. When the son was five, Daddy King changed his name to Martin Luther King and the son became Martin Luther King, Jr. when both were baptized in 1934.
Dr. King earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Morehouse College, his Bachelor of Divinity from Crozier Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of philosophy
from Boston University.
The Freedom Road exhibit is the National Historic Site's memorial to everyday people known as the "foot soldiers" of the Civil Rights Movement. Their willingness to stand before water hoses, risk police batons, and march was the force that led to the Movement's success.
August 28, 1963. The largest protest demonstration in U.S. history occurred at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., where 250,000 blacks and whites gathered to lobby for passage of sweeping civil rights measures by Congress. Dr. King thrilled the crowd with his "I Have A Dream" oration.
December 12-16, 1961, Martin Luther King, Jr. and his forces launched an attack against segregation and discrimination in Albany, GA. Mass arrests and political maneuverings frustrated the effort. The Albany debacle taught civil rights leaders lessons for future massive assaults on segregation.
Mama King (Alberta) was playing the organ in 1974 when a young Black man named Marcus Wayne Chennault stood up and opened fire. He killed Mama King and a Deacon and wounded two other Deacons. He was sentenced to life in prison and died in 1988. No reason was ever given for why he killed Mrs. King.
Ebenezer Baptist Church's most famous member, Martin Luther King, Jr., was baptized as a child in the church. After giving a trial sermon to the congregation at Ebenezer at the age of 19 Martin was ordained as a minister. In 1960 Dr. King, Jr. became a co-pastor of Ebenezer with his father.
The King Center owns the Birth Home and the National Park Service maintains it. The King Family moved out of the Birth Home in 1941. The house was then converted into a 2-family dwelling. The Rev. A.D. Williams King, Dr. King's brother, lived on the 2nd floor in the 1950's and early 1960's.