Desoto County News

National Civil Rights Museum focuses on community service during MLK Day

Museum uses history blueprints of 1960s to move forward in today’s challenges

On Jan. 15, 2024, in honor of the national holiday, the National Civil Rights Museum will host a daylong celebration dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a special emphasis on community service. The public is invited to join this celebration, taking advantage of extended hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thanks to the generous support of FedEx, admission to the museum on King Day will be free for all guests.

“Dr. King once said ‘anyone can be great because anyone can serve,’” said Museum President Dr. Russ Wigginton. “At our museum, we create opportunities to highlight the greatness in our communities.  Dr. King’s legacy and the progress we’ve collectively made encourages us to keep moving forward,” he said.

King Day will kick off yearlong observances themed “History Moves Us Forward,” as the Museum focuses on major civil rights milestones with anniversaries in 2024. 

The year includes highlights of the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ending legal segregation, Mississippi Freedom Summer dedicated to voter education, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that challenged at the Democratic Convention, and the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. King.


  • Visitors are welcome to explore the museum from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • In partnership with Vitalant’s MLK Spirit of Service blood drive, the museum helps to thwart the critical blood shortage. Donors at Vitalant local centers from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15 and onsite at the museum on the MLK holiday will receive free admission for two people in 2024.
  • Guests are encouraged to give back to the community by bringing canned goods and nonperishables to support the Mid-South Food Bank’s efforts in feeding local families in need.
  • The day’s schedule includes Main Stage performances by local artists such as vocalist Gerald Richardson, Overton High School choir, and more. The outdoor live entertainment is sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund.
  • Wells Fargo has sponsored the Pavilion Tent showcasing local organizations, children’s activities, and entertainment.
  • Additional support for King Day comes through in-kind donations from Home Depot, area restaurants and businesses. Several corporations and organizations have committed volunteers to serve at the museum on King Day.

For more information about King Day at the National Civil Rights Museum, visit  The event hashtag is #KingDay2024.

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