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From Montgomery to Memphis, sights of King's crusade mark the Southeast
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. One block west of the state capitol. King's first full pastorship was here, where planning for the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott took place. King began preaching at Dexter in 1954 and left by 1960 to devote his time to the newly formed Southern Christian Leadership Conference and to co-pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer with his father.
Civil Rights Memorial. Around the corner from Dexter, at the entrance to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Designed by Vietnam War Memorial designer Maya Lin, the memorial is a quiet tribute to 40 people killed in the struggle for civil rights. 400 Washington Ave.
Rosa Parks/Bus Boycott Historical Monument opened in 1995 outside the Eureka Theater.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, in the city where a jailed King (April 1963) wrote the widely disseminated "Letter from the Birmingham City Jail." Special exhibits, archives, oral history and education projects. 520 Sixteenth St. North. Phone: (205) 328-9696.
The 16th Street Baptist Church, where a bomb killed four young girls at Sunday school on September 15, 1963. The church served as headquarters for rallies and meetings held in Birmingham in the early 1960s. King delivered eulogies for the girls. 1530 Sixth Ave. North, Phone: (205) 251-9402.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge carries old U.S. 80 across the Alabama River -- and was the scene of one of the most violent clashes between civil rights protesters and law enforcement officers of the 1960s. The occasion was the King-led Selma-to-Montgomery march, which was intended to draw attention to voting rights inequities, in March 1965.
At the foot of the bridge, the National Voting Rights Museum tells the civil rights story. 1012 Water Ave., Phone: (334) 418-0800.
The Old Depot Museum -- on the site of a Civil War foundry in the Water Avenue historic district -- features Selma's history from the Civil War to civil rights. North along Martin Luther King Street, markers point out significant sites, including Brown Chapel AME Church, where the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march began, and George Washington Carver Homes, where many of Selma's activists lived.
King was shot to death on the balcony in front of rooms 306 and 307 of the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. Those rooms, restored as they were that day, are now the focal point for the National Civil Rights Museum. King was in Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. 450 Mulberry St. Phone: (901) 521-9699.
Montgomery, Alabama; Birmingham, Alabama; Selma, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee
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