Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Quick Facts

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

District Of Columbia

(202) 426-6841

Map Directions

Things To Do

   

Overview

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial honors a man of conscience; the freedom movement of which he was a beacon; and his message of freedom, equality, justice and love. It is the first on the National Mall devoted, not to a United States President or war hero, but a citizen activist for civil rights and peace. 

King's leadership in the drive for realization of the freedoms and liberties laid down in the foundation of the United States of America for all of its citizens, without regard to race, color, or creed is what introduced this young southern clergyman to the nation. The delivery of his message of love and tolerance through the means of his powerful gift of speech and eloquent writings inspire to this day, those who yearn for a gentler, kinder world . His inspiration broke the boundaries of intolerance and even national borders, as he became a symbol, recognized worldwide of the quest for civil rights of the citizens of the world.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, culminated in Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered a stone's throw away from the memorial, before the Reflecting Pool, underneath the benevolent watch of the statue of President Abraham Lincoln.

Map of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Latitude, Longitude: 38.886210, -77.044230

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Several major bicycle trails make their ways to and through Washington, D.C. The Nation's Capital area is extremely bicycle friendly and readily accessible to riders of nearly every skill level.

    Bicycles are welcome in the National Mall and Memorial Parks and bicycle parking is provided near each of the major memorials as well as along the National Mall. Please remember that riding your bicycle is not permitted within the memorials themselves. Please walk your bicycle through the World War II and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorials or lock it up before entering any of the other memorials. Your assistance in preserving a respectful and safe experience for all visitors is appreciated.

    Bicycle rentals are available from Thompson Boat Center located near the intersection of Virginia Avenue, NW and Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, NW, just a short distance north of the Lincoln Memorial along the Potomac River-Rock Creek Trail. For detailed information concerning bicycles in the park, ask a park ranger or visit http://www.nps.gov/mall/planyourvisit/national-mall-bike-tour-page.htm.

  • Historic Sites

    Initially, August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the groundbreaking March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was set for the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The memorial dedication date, however, was postponed till October 16th, 2011 due to a tropical storm. Nevertheless, in the form of solid granite, the legacy of Dr. King's leadership in the Civil Rights movement is further cemented in the tapestry of the American experience. His leadership in the drive for realization of the freedoms and liberties laid down in the foundation of the United States of America for all of its citizens, without regard to race, color, or creed is what introduced this young southern clergyman to the nation. The delivery of his message of love and tolerance through the means of his powerful gift of speech and eloquent writings inspire to this day, those who yearn for a gentler, kinder world. His inspiration broke the boundaries of intolerance and even national borders, as he became a symbol, recognized worldwide of the quest for civil rights of the citizens of the world.

    Each Memorial component holds its own unique significance. From the looming Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope surges forward as the focal point for the memorial. Captured in a moment of reflective thought, the figure of Dr. King, sculpted by renowned artist Master Lei Yixin serves as the forward element of the Stone of Hope. The detachment of the Stone of Hope from the Mountain of Despair reflects not only victory borne from disappointment, but allows the visitor a clear view of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial which reflects the principles of freedom and liberty which gave birth to the nation. A wall of quotes, representing Dr. King's ideals of hope, democracy and love, flanking the Mountain of Despair and encircling the Stone of Hope.

Seasonality/Weather

Washington has a temperate climate typical of the Mid-Atlantic U.S., with four distinct seasons. Summer tends to be very hot and humid. Spring and fall are mild. Winter can bring cold temperatures, frozen precipitation and, on occasions, major snowstorms.

Park Partners

Trust for the National Mall

The Trust for the National Mall is the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall. The trust's goal is to make the National Mall the best park in the world. The Trust for the National Mall will help restore, revitalize and preserve the National Mall, home to the enduring symbols of democracy, for present and future generations.

The bookstore is operated by Eastern National, a partner of the National Park Service that sells books and other educational materials and operates many other bookstores at national park sites throughout the country. Proceeds from sales support National Mall and Memorial Parks and other National Parks.

(202) 407-9408

Tourmobile

Tourmobile open-air trams offer live narrated tours of DC and is the only riding tour of Arlington National Cemetery. You will be taken right where you want to go with unlimited reboarding. Hop on an off throughout the day. You choose where to stop, stay as long as you want, then reboard and ride to another historic location.

Guest Services manages all retail operations (stores and kiosks) for the National Park Service-operated National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Directions

Driving

Interstate 395 provides access to the Mall from the South. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway provide access from the North. Interstate 66, U.S. Routes 50 and 29 provide access from the West. U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the East.

General visitor parking is available along Ohio Drive, SW between the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials. Bus parking is available primarily along Ohio Drive, SW near the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials and along Ohio Drive, SW in East Potomac Park. See the Maps section for a detailed understanding of these areas. There is limited handicapped parking at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and World War II Memorials and near the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans Memorials; otherwise, parking is extremely scarce in Washington, D.C. Parking throughout the District of Columbia is restricted generally (see individual area signs for site specific closures/restrictions) from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. to facilitate cleaning and maintenance.

Washington, D.C. is a very busy metropolitan area. Parking is at a premium throughout the entire city. It is highly recommended that you make use of the efficient public transit system (Metro rail and Metro bus) as well as Tourmobile, the official interpretive visitor transportation service for the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Information and schedules for Metro can be found at www.wmata.com. Information and schedules for Tourmobile may be found at www.tourmobile.com.

Private paid parking garages and lots can be found downtown north of the National Mall. Free on street parking is generally restricted to two hours (ticketing/towing enforced). Limited free day long parking is available along Ohio Drive SW which is along the Potomac River south of the Lincoln Memorial or in Lots A, B & C south of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Flying

Three major airports link Washington, D.C. with the rest of the country and the world. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport all have limousine, taxi cab, or Metro services available that will connect with the National Mall.

Public Transportation

There are several Metro train and bus routes from the suburban areas surrounding the city. In addition to Washington, D.C. public transportation, adjacent state and commonwealth transportation authorities offer train service from area cites to the Nation's Capital. Consult the Public Transportation link for additional details.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(202) 426-6841

Links