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National Civil Rights Museum

450 Mulberry Street
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, 38103

Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee
Photo: Matthew T Rader License: CC BY-SA 4.0
The National Civil Rights Museum is a complex of museums and historic buildings in Memphis, Tennessee; its exhibits trace the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present.
The museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel, which was the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968; King died at St. Joseph's Hospital. Two other buildings and their adjacent property, also connected with the King assassination, have been acquired as part of the museum complex.

The site began as the 16-room Windsorlorrine Hotel around 1925 and was later known as the Marquette Hotel. In 1945, Walter Bailey purchased it and renamed it for his wife Loree and the song "Sweet Lorraine".

During the segregation era, Bailey operated the motel as upscale lodging that catered to a black clientele. He added a second floor, a swimming pool, and drive-up access for more rooms on the south side of the complex. He changed the name from Lorraine Hotel to Lorraine Motel.

The museum was dedicated on July 4, 1991, and officially opened to the public on September 28, 1991.

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