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  • Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic SiteMartin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site Atlanta, Georgia
    The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site began on October 10,1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, with several buildings that encompass Martin's boyhood house that is located on Auburn Avenue, in the Sweet Auburn historic district, as well as the "I Have a Dream" International World Peace Rose Garden and the memorial tribute to Mohandas Ghandi. These building make up the 35 acre historical complex that is so dear to those that loved and walked with Martin. In the visitor's center, there is a museum that gives a timeline of the American civil rights movement, that also parallels Martin's life. Also included is a firehouse that was built in 1894, and took care of the community until 1991, now housing a gift shop and display that showcases the struggle for desegregation in the Atlanta fire department. Another venue is the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, an excellent example that gives deserved recognition of those brave individuals that sacrificed and fought to make equality a right of all people in this country. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and includes the Ebenezer Baptist church, where Martin and his father pastored, the Alexander Hamilton house, Victorian houses, the gravesite of Martin, his birthplace, shotgun houses, the fire station number 6, the Atlanta Baptist Preparatory Institute site, the Triangle building and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Colored Mission. Much of this area was made a national historic landmark in 1977, and a national historic site in 1980, and in 2001, the NRHP list was enlarged to include other areas within the district. Martin's birthplace is next to the church, and was constructed in 1895, when his grandparents, the Reverend Adam Daniel Williams and Jennie Williams bought the house in 1909. When Martin's father married Alberta Williams, they moved into the house in 1926, and Martin would be born there in 1929. They lived here until 1941, and upon leaving, the house was converted into a two-family, with Martin Sr.'s brother, the Reverend A.D. Williams King lived on the second floor in the 1950s and 1960s. The first floor has a bedroom and bathroom, kitchen, dining room, study, parlor, laundry room and front porch. The second floor had four bedrooms and a bathroom. You can tour the house guided by one of the National Park Service rangers. The Ghandi Promenade, includes a statue of Mohandas Karanchand Ghandi, that was given by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, India, which collaborated with the Embassy of India, USA and the National Federation of Indian American Associations. The King center was begun by Coretta Scott King, just after Martin's assassination in 1968, set in their former basement and called the Center of Nonviolent Social Change. It was moved into a bigger venue, in 1981, on Auburn Street, near his home and church which he preached in from 1960 until his death. A memorial tomb as dedicated in 1977, and Martin's remains brought there where a beautiful reflecting pool sits; and in 2006, Coretta joined Martin. In 2004, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame was constructed, which is a walkway or promenade, that shows footsteps in the granite and bronze. The park service states this walk was made to give honor to the courageous warriors of justice who gave everything and fought for the rights of equality for all. There are many well known and famous people that have been inducted into the walk, with some being; Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., Julian Bond, Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, Medgar Evers, Lyndon Johnson, Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, Henry Aaron, Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, Nancy Wilson, Rev. Addie L. Wyatt, Lena Horne, John E. Jacob, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Shirley Franklin, Joe Louis, Sidney Poitier, Maxine Waters, Jean Childs Young, Maya Angelou, Sammy Davis, Jr., Benjamin Hooks, Clarence B. Jones, and so many others that you would have to visit this marvelous site to see all those inducted.

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  • Atlanta History CenterAtlanta History Center Atlanta, Georgia
    The Atlanta History center can be found in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, and is one of the foremost history museums in the country. The museum began in 1926, and today contains 12 exhibits, as well as numerous historical houses and gardens spread out across the 33 acres. One such building is the Kenan Research Center that contains some 3.5 million resources, as well as a replica of Franklin Garrett's office. It, the museum houses one of the biggest collections of civil war relics in the world, with the Tullie Smith farm and the Swan House being located there also. The center, has three types of exhibits, temporary, traveling and permanent, of which there are 6. These include; the Centennial Olympic Museum, the Swan house, which was designed by Phillip Trammell Shutze, an Atlanta collector, connoisseur and classicist, who was also an excellent architect, designer of the Swan house; the Down the Fairway with Bobby Jones exhibit, the Metropolitan Frontiers exhibits, the Turning Point has 1400 relics of the civil war, and the Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South. The Tullie Smith House is a wonderful example of an antebellum farmhouse constructed by the Robert Smith family and now on the National Register of Historic Places, which was moved from its original location in Dekalb County, where it sat on 200 acres and had at one time, 11 slaves running it. It was moved to the center in 1969 and is made up of a smokehouse, blacksmith shop, farm house, kitchen, double corncrib, numerous gardens, barn and log cabin. Miniature houses named the Victorian and Lee Playhouses were given in 1998. The Swan house, with its many swan designs is surrounded by the Boxwood Garden, and the front area with two cloverleaf fountains and a marvelous terraced lawn has become one of the most photographic spots in the country. There are historic gardens sitting next to the historic houses, and include the Cherry Sims garden, the Frank A. Smith rhododendron garden, the Swan house boxwood garden, Quarry garden and Tullie Smith farm gardens.

January 11, 2011