MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Rev. Jesse Jackson got the crowd going outside the National Civil Rights Museum on the 54th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s death in Memphis.

“He lives, he lives, he lives,” said Jackson. “I am somebody.”

Jackson was at the Lorraine Hotel on the night of April 4, 1968, when King was assassinated on the balcony. Monday, he also helped lay a new wreath outside room 306.

The facade of the Lorraine Hotel was preserved and is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

Johnny Mosley

“It’s hallowed ground,” said Johnny Mosley. Johnny Mosley’s dad, John White, was a Memphis sanitation worker for 52 years. He said his father had already been with the department for 16 years when Dr. King came to Memphis to help the striking workers.

“I make it a point to come here because of my dad’s participation in the sanitation strike. Martin Luther King died while helping my father and his co-workers,” said Mosley.

In 2020 and 2021, the National Civil Rights Museum was forced to hold virtual ceremonies to commemorate King’s death due to the pandemic.

This year, a hybrid ceremony was streamed live on the museum’s website.

This year, the Memphis Shelby County Health Department gave out several hundred tickets to the museum as part of National Public Health Week.

“The theme is racism as part of a public health crisis,” said Dr. Michelle Taylor. “We wanted people to come out and experience this day and which is an important part of Memphis history, and also experience the museum because we know that what we learn from history we won’t repeat.”

The National Civil Rights Museum posted a timeline of Dr. King’s last seven days on its website. You can also watch a portion of “The Mountaintop” speech he delivered at the Mason Temple in Memphis the night before he was killed.

To watch his speech and view the timeline, click right here.