Each year, on the third Monday in January, the United States celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Throughout his life, Dr. King worked tirelessly as a leader of the Civil Rights movement, fighting for the prosperity of African-Americans and people of all races, ethnicities, and creeds in this country. In 1964, he became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy of nonviolent protest. Though this fight still continues today, the efforts and achievements of King and his peers in the civil rights movement were instrumental in bringing such issues to the forefront the American social and political climate. In 1968, he was tragically shot on the balcony of his motel room.
This holiday, though solemn, is meant to rejoice in the life and teachings of a great leader whose message of peace and love was heard throughout the world. Recently, the movie Selma, a biographical film depicting Dr. King’s time spent in Alabama, was given a wide release in U.S. movie theaters and nominated for the Oscar/ Academy Award for Best Picture. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming are offering guests free admission on Monday to explore these marvelous expanses of wilderness. Cities all over the country hold special events to commemorate the day, from parades to memorial brunches. Below, we have included some ideas for activities, arranged by city. Visit GotoBus.com to find bus tickets and hotel deals in the following places and more!
In 1955, King graduated with a doctoral degree in theology from Boston University. Visitors to the school’s Mugar Memorial Library can look inside the MLK Reading Room, which features a large collection of the man’s writings and letters on display. Elsewhere in the city, the Museum of Fine Arts is giving guests free admission all day. They have scheduled many special events for the day, all dealing with King or the civil rights movement, ranging from the documentary Freedom Summer to the hands-on “Puzzle Peaces,” in which children are encouraged to paint peaceful nature landscapes. Tours will also be available that will highlight the most prominent African American artists and the pieces by them on display in the museum. Check out the museum’s website for a full list of events. Bus tickets to Boston start for as little as $15.
It was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Dr. King was fatally shot in 1968. The site of the old motel is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum, which hosts an annual celebration, “Marching to Freedom.” The event features live music performances in a nearby park, as well as recordings of King’s most famous speeches. The museum always tries to make this gathering as charitable as possible, encouraging guests to make donations of canned foods for a discounted admission price of $3 or to donate blood for free entry. Bus tickets to Memphis begin at $76.
Moving over to the West Coast, the city of Los Angeles hosts the largest parade in the country dedicated to King’s legacy, the Kingdom Day Parade, which uses over 150 floats, marching bands, dance groups, and much more, that all happens in a day-long festival full of food, music, and dancing. After the parade, you can head to the California African American Museum, which shows films, puts on live performances, and organizes art workshops to honor King. Tickets to Los Angeles are available for an incredibly low price of $20. Book now!
In 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King delivered a very powerful, moving speech which included the iconic introduction, “I have a dream.” This year, at the same location, the students of local Watkins Elementary School will give a complete recitation of the speech in a moving ceremony. There will also be a wreath-laying at the MLK Memorial while National Park Service Rangers discuss King’s role in the Civil Rights movement. Then, at 11 AM, there will be a parade beginning at Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE and Milwaukee Place SE, led by a marching band to keep the rhythm. The holiday is also regarded as a national day of service: everyone is strongly encouraged to either donate to an existing charity or service, or begin raising money for an original cause. Starting at just $21, bus tickets to Washington have never been cheaper!
As previously stated, MLK Day celebrations and services are held all over the country in honor of such an incredible man, so there is no shortage of events to attend this year. With everything that is happening in the world, it is more important than ever to study and contemplate the words and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. GotoBus.com is here to help you find the best deals on bus and hotel combinations, so head over to our website to book immediately.