Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park will open for holiday despite government shutdown

Thanks to the Delta Air Lines Foundation, the historic site will open Saturday, January 19 and remain open until February 3

MLK National Historical Park open despite government shutdown is MLK site open on MLK day
The sign for the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church

Photograph by Hal Beral via Getty Images

When the federal government shut down nearly a month ago on December 22, it forced the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park—which is maintained by the National Park Service and includes the visitor center, King’s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the historic Fire Station No. 6—to shut down along with it. It was closed on what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 90th birthday on January 15, but thanks to a grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation and money from NPS recreation fees, the park will reopen for the King holiday on Monday and stay open through Super Bowl LIII.

The $83,500 Delta grant will pay for administration fees, maintenance and clean-up, and employee operating costs not covered under fee collection funds, according to a press release from the National Park Service. The park will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 19 and will operate daily through Sunday, February 3, a.k.a. Super Bowl Sunday, giving the many tourists planned to be in town for the big game a chance to visit the site.

The King Center, which is run by the King family, has not been impacted by the shutdown and will be open as usual.

The Historical Park’s normal hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the visitor center and Ebenezer Baptist Church and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the birth home. (The NPS website notes that because Fire Station No. 6 is run by volunteers, it is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “when volunteers are available.”)