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National Museum of African American History and Culture

by Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy with various educational opportunities throughout January. From in-person activities to online offerings, the museum commemorates King and the holiday surrounding his impact on the world. Beginning Jan. 8, 2024, King’s original “I Have a Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, on loan from Villanova University, will be on display through March 4, 2024. For digital visitors looking to learn more about King online, a blog post highlighting surprising facts about King’s life is now available at

Alongside the “I Have a Dream” speech on view are objects associated with King, including a Congressional Gold Medal awarded posthumously to him and Coretta Scott King in 2014, a laundry pail used by King during the march from Selma to Montgomery and a 1956 handbill advertising a prayer meeting with King at a Boston church.

On Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, the museum welcomes author Jonathan Eig for a special event to discuss his biography “King: A Life,” in the Oprah Winfrey Theater and streaming online. The event “The People’s Holiday: The Many Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” on Monday, Jan. 15, reinterprets the life and work of King through powerful performances by students from Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

From Jan. 12 to Jan. 15, 2024, the museum’s Sweet Home Café will celebrate the holiday with a special menu featuring a selection of King’s most-liked dishes, including ribs, collard greens, and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

For more details, visit the Sweet Home Café website. Entry to the museum includes access to the café, and special Dine and Shop passes are available for access to the café and museum store only.

In observance of the holiday, the museum will remain open during its regular operating hours from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Advanced and same-day free timed-entry passes are available online.

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