State to provide $40k grant for Clayborn Temple restoration

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A church that served as headquarters for the 1968 sanitation workers strike that brought Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, Tennessee, is getting a $42,000 restoration grant.

The Tennessee Historical Commission’s preservation office says the grant to fix the Clayborn Temple tower is one of 30 provided by the state. The grants will be used for archaeological surveys, design guidelines for historic districts and rehabilitation of historic buildings.

The downtown Memphis temple was the meeting place for striking sanitation workers who were seeking better working conditions and higher wages. It was the launching point for a March 1968 march led by King that turned violent when police clashed with protesters. Marchers sought refuge at the temple as violence escalated.

King was killed in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

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