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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African American Civil Rights leader and minister in the 1950s and 60s. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and gave a notable speech - "I Have a Dream" - after the March on Washington, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in view of the monument dedicated to his memory. King is only one of four non-Presidents to have received such an honor, and the only African American with a memorial in his honor on the Mall. Open to the public in 2011, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a peaceful place to visit.



  • Open 24/7. Rangers are on duty and can answer questions from 9:30 AM to 11:30 PM every day.


  • Free


Tours are given by Park Rangers on the hour, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM


  • Look for Dr. King's quotes carved onto the Memorial
  • View the cherry trees and Tidal Basin
  • Visit the Bookstore


The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a part of the National Mall & Memorial Parks. It's located in West Potomac Park on the Tidal Basin off Independence Avenue and West Basin Drive near the DC War Memorial and the site of the Japanese Lantern & First Cherry Tree Planting. It's a very bicycle-friendly area, but if you do drive, there is some parking along Ohio Drive, SW.


In 1963, King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. After he was assassinated in 1968, his college fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, began the campaign to erect a permanent statue to honor him. In 2011, on the anniversary of the March on Washington, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was scheduled to be dedicated, although Hurricane Irene postponed the ceremony for two months, so there was a "soft opening" instead.