Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Overview

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial honors a man of conscience; the freedom movement of which he was a beacon; and his message of freedom, equality, justice and love. It is the first on the National Mall devoted, not to a United States President or war hero, but a citizen activist for civil rights and peace. 

King's leadership in the drive for realization of the freedoms and liberties laid down in the foundation of the United States of America for all of its citizens, without regard to race, color, or creed is what introduced this young southern clergyman to the nation. The delivery of his message of love and tolerance through the means of his powerful gift of speech and eloquent writings inspire to this day, those who yearn for a gentler, kinder world . His inspiration broke the boundaries of intolerance and even national borders, as he became a symbol, recognized worldwide of the quest for civil rights of the citizens of the world.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, culminated in Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered a stone's throw away from the memorial, before the Reflecting Pool, underneath the benevolent watch of the statue of President Abraham Lincoln.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

Washington has a temperate climate typical of the Mid-Atlantic U.S., with four distinct seasons. Summer tends to be very hot and humid. Spring and fall are mild. Winter can bring cold temperatures, frozen precipitation and, on occasions, major snowstorms.

Directions

Driving: 

Interstate 395 provides access to the Mall from the South. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway provide access from the North. Interstate 66, U.S. Routes 50 and 29 provide access from the West. U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the East.

General visitor parking is available along Ohio Drive, SW between the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials. Bus parking is available primarily along Ohio Drive, SW near the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials and along Ohio Drive, SW in East Potomac Park. See the Maps section for a detailed understanding of these areas. There is limited handicapped parking at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and World War II Memorials and near the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans Memorials; otherwise, parking is extremely scarce in Washington, D.C. Parking throughout the District of Columbia is restricted generally (see individual area signs for site specific closures/restrictions) from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. to facilitate cleaning and maintenance.

Washington, D.C. is a very busy metropolitan area. Parking is at a premium throughout the entire city. It is highly recommended that you make use of the efficient public transit system (Metro rail and Metro bus) as well as Tourmobile, the official interpretive visitor transportation service for the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Information and schedules for Metro can be found at www.wmata.com. Information and schedules for Tourmobile may be found at www.tourmobile.com.

Private paid parking garages and lots can be found downtown north of the National Mall. Free on street parking is generally restricted to two hours (ticketing/towing enforced). Limited free day long parking is available along Ohio Drive SW which is along the Potomac River south of the Lincoln Memorial or in Lots A, B & C south of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Flying: 

Three major airports link Washington, D.C. with the rest of the country and the world. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport all have limousine, taxi cab, or Metro services available that will connect with the National Mall.

Public Transport: 

There are several Metro train and bus routes from the suburban areas surrounding the city. In addition to Washington, D.C. public transportation, adjacent state and commonwealth transportation authorities offer train service from area cites to the Nation's Capital. Consult the Public Transportation link for additional details.