Travelers looking to learn more about our country's civil rights heritage will soon have a chance to hit the trail.
Due to launch in January 2018, the new Civil Rights Trail will link more than 100 historical sites that tell the story of African-Americans' struggle for equal rights. Some of the places are familiar national landmarks, while others reveal little-known history behind milestone events in the movement, notes Lonely Planet.
Former National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis initiated the beginnings of the project in 2015 to help the spots gain UNESCO World Heritage site status, according to Condé Nast Traveler. The tourism bureaus of the states where the sites lie are sponsoring the design and promotion of the trail.
The itinerary features landmarks across a quarter of U.S. territory, from Topeka, Kansas, to Wilmington, Delaware, to New Orleans. Many are located in Alabama, including Montgomery, the site of the 1955 bus boycott and other watershed events; Tuskegee, where the prominent university for African-American scholars was founded in the late 19th century; Birmingham, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was jailed for nonviolent protest; and Selma, where thousands marched for voting rights.
Other highlights include the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas; the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which desegregated the courts in the Deep South; and the Woolworth's lunch counter (now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum) in Greensboro, North Carolina, where four black students launched the sit-in movement on February 1, 1960.
The project's debut next year will also coincide with the 50th anniversary of King's assassination in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee—now one of the trail's featured sites.
[h/t Lonely Planet]