ATLANTA – On Tuesday, August 23, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor will tour the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. The visit is the first stop of Deputy Secretary Connor’s tour commemorating the 100-year milestone of America’s national parks, focusing on connecting with and creating the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. Deputy Secretary Connor will highlight the importance of preserving America’s history, including the struggle for civil rights, and how National Park Service (NPS) sites act as economic drivers for local communities. Deputy Secretary Connor will also join the National Trust for Historic Preservation HOPE Crew to help paint the exterior of houses in the Birth Home block of the site.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site recognizes several locations where Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up, including the home of his birth, where he played as a child, and the church where he was baptized. The church, as the site of many meetings and rallies – including the 1957 gathering that led to the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference – sits at a cornerstone of the country’s Civil Rights Movement.
Throughout Centennial week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary Connor will travel across the nation to focus on the challenges NPS faces, including being relevant to all Americans, managing and mitigating for climate impacts, telling a broader story of our nation’s history and continuing to manage on a tight budget effectively while driving tourism in local communities, and how they will be addressed in the next century of service.