12/30/2019, 6:53 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Memphis, TN, Dec. 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On the national holiday, January 20, the National Civil Rights Museum will remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a special celebration. The museum is open extended hours and King Day admission will be free for all guests, thanks to the support of FedEx. 

Dr. King realized the importance of representation as a young leader during the Prayer for Pilgrimage in 1957 when he stated, “Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights.” The nation is still faced with the dilemma as its constituency is confronted with voter suppression tactics.  The year 2020 is an important election and U.S. Census year, and the museum is participating in the efforts to help ensure every person is counted and fairly represented. 

Given the hard-fought battles to win the right to vote, the museum has been a long-time advocate of voting rights. On King Day it will collaborate with organizations to offer voter education, empowerment and registration.  This year represents a critical presidential election year, the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment granting freedmen the right to vote and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that guaranteed American women the right to vote.

The museum is also hosting agencies with resources to inform guests about the U.S. Census 2020, including privacy protections, the census’ impact on congressional and state legislative district boundaries, and how government funds are allocated for vital programs that affect the quality of life in communities. The census counts everyone regardless of citizenship status, and this year, the survey can be easily and anonymously conducted online or by smart phone.

“2020 is an important year,” said Museum President Terri Lee Freeman. “First, it is our opportunity to ensure that we get appropriate representation in Congress by completing a count or census of the nation's residents.  Second, it is a federal election year, so registering people to vote is critically important.  It is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment extending voting rights to women.  We plan to make factual information available to our guests at King Day about the Census and voting rights.  We are thankful to FedEx that, through their sponsorship of free admission, we can get these messages to the thousands of visitors with us for King Day,” she said.  

“At FedEx, we believe that when we connect people and possibilities, we can change the world,” shared Shannon Brown, senior vice president, Eastern Division U.S. Operations and Chief Diversity Officer, FedEx Express. "We are proud to support free public admission to the National Civil Rights Museum and help thousands of visitors connect with Dr. King’s legacy and leave inspired to drive positive changes of their own.”

Other King Day sponsors include Caesars Foundation, The Starbucks Foundation, Tennessee Arts Commission and University of Tennessee Health and Science Center.  A host of restaurants and services are providing in-kind donations, and several corporations and organizations have committed volunteers to serve at the museum on King Day. 


  • Visitors can tour the museum from 8am–6pm. Included in the tour is the new installment of the From the Vault, an exhibit featuring newly acquired photos, fine art and artifacts from the museum’s Collections vault that are rarely displayed. The exhibit is open January 17 – April 13, 2020.
  • The museum is continuing its annual blood drive with Vitalant (formerly Lifeblood) to help with the seasonal blood shortage. Any one donating blood will receive additional free admission for up to four people on any day in 2020. 
  • For the annual food drive benefitting the Mid-South Food Bank, the museum is requesting canned good donations for future free museum admission and to help feed hungry families in the Mid-South.
  • A full day of activities include Main Stage performances, a Family Activity Tent, resources about the census and voting, arts & crafts stations, social media trivia contest with prizes, and more.

For more information about the King Day at the National Civil Rights Museum, visit  The event hashtag is #KingDay2020.


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.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $69 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 490,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit

Connie Dyson
National Civil Rights Museum
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