National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis wins big award

Crowds line up to see the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis in January 2017 (AP file photo)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The National Civil Rights Museum in Tennessee is being honored by a federal agency that supports the nation’s museums.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services said in a news release Tuesday that the Memphis-based museum is one of 10 recipients of National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Institute officials say the award honors museums and libraries that make exceptional contributions to their communities.

Opened in 1991, the museum is built on the site of the former Lorraine Motel. Civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot while standing on the hotel’s balcony on April 4, 1968.

The museum chronicles the history of the U.S. civil rights movement and holds discussions and events related to civil and human rights issues.

Other recipients of the award include Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Library, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, New Haven Free Public Library, Gulfport Public Library, Meridian Library District, Barona Band of Mission Indians – Barona Cultural Center and Museum, New Children’s Museum, Orange County Regional History Center, and South Carolina Aquarium.

All recipients will be presented their awards during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 12.

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