The National Park Foundation Brings Iconic Civil Rights Site Home to National Parks
Washington, D.C. — The National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and King family announced that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s home in the historic Vine City neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, will be made accessible to the public for the first time as part of Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, a part of the National Park System. The addition of the home helps to tell a more complete story about the King family’s experiences and contributions to our nation’s history. The National Park Foundation purchased the home, via private philanthropy, from the estate of Coretta Scott King on January 8, 2019, and immediately transferred it to the National Park Service. This follows the National Park Foundation’s purchase and transfer of Dr. King’s birth home in late 2018.
“African American history is U.S. history, and the family home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King is a touchstone for us all to better understand our shared heritage,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “The acquisition of both Dr. King’s birth home and the family home he shared with Coretta Scott King and their children advances the National Park Foundation’s commitment to telling a more comprehensive American story through national parks. With greater access to Dr. King’s life and legacy, we can learn more about this country’s past and how his work continues to echo through time.”
“The National Park Service’s dedication to preserving historic properties is unmatched,” said Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., on behalf of the King family. “We are very pleased to have worked with the National Park Foundation to ensure that the family home that my siblings and I grew up in will be open and available to the public. My brothers and I are honored to have fulfilled my mother’s wish to allow future generations to know the story of our dad as a father, a husband, a minister, and a civil rights leader.”
“The addition of the homes where Dr. King was born and where he raised his family with Coretta Scott King provides the National Park Service sacred spaces to more fully tell the story of Dr. King’s life and legacy,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “Thanks to the efforts of the National Park Foundation and the generosity of the King family, these areas are now among the many civil rights sites that are preserved as part of the National Park System and will be accessible to the American people in perpetuity.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.