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Celebrating Civil Rights on the road

By Emily K Wolman   15 January 2014 2:44am Europe/London

Every January in the US, the nation comes together in celebration of American Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. In honor of his life and the freedoms he inspired, Lonely Planet is offering a free downloadable PDF of the Civil Rights Tour chapter from our Florida & the South’s Best Trips guide.

The road-trip tour takes you mile by mile from Atlanta to Memphis, stopping at historic if not legendary sights along the way, including:

  • Martin Luther King Jr Birthplace (www.nps.gov/malu) and National Historic Site, in Atlanta’s bustling Sweet Auburn neighborhood.
  • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (www.nps.gov/tuai), where the nation’s first African American fighter pilots shattered the glass ceiling and received their training.
  • Rosa Parks Museum, showcasing how the Civil Rights Movement found its legs in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.
  • Civil Rights Memorial Center, honoring 40 martyrs of the movement.
  • Lowndes County Interpretive Center (www.nps.gov/semo), a wonderful museum offering insight into the events leading up to and including the 1965 Voting Rights March.
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Memorial Trail (www.bcri.org), installed in 2013 for the 50th anniversary of a legendary desegregation campaign.
  • Memphis and the National Civil Rights Museum, where King’s crusade abruptly and tragically ended.

National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images.National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images.

Download the free Civil Rights Tour chapter here.

Lonely Planet’s Florida & the South’s Best Trips, going on sale in February 2014, will inspire you to experience the freedom of the open road with 30 amazing road trips through the region, from two-day escapes to week-long adventures, packed full of expert advice and inspirational suggestions.