The Lorraine Hotel + Civil Rights Museum Memphis
The Windsor hotel on the corner of Mulberry Street and Huling Ave in downtown Memphis actually opened in the 1920’s. In its early days the hotel was a typical Southern hotel only accessible to whites. In 1942 Walter and Loree Bailey bought the hotel and renamed it the Lorraine hotel. The Lorraine Hotel was one of the few hotels in Memphis open to black guests in the days of legal segregation. It was/is located within walking distance of Beale street, which the main street of the Memphis’ black community. This made it attractive to visiting celebrities - Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, and Aretha Franklin. stayed at the Lorraine. So the hotel played an important part in African-American history even before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was assasinated there in 1968. In was in March 1968 the Dr King was in Memphis to support the cities garbage collectors who were on strike and he had checked into the Lorraine. Their grievances included unfair working conditions (on rainy days, black workers had to return home without pay while paid white supervisors remained on the job) and poor pay (the highest-paid black worker could not hope to earn more than $70 a week). He led march which turned violent even though he had a policy of non-violence. On the 3rd of April he gave a speech in the Memphis Mason temple with the words “We’ve got some difficult days ahead….” The next night he was assasinated as he stood on the balcony outside room 306. A single assassin, James Earl Ray, was named in the official account. He fired a single shot from the top of floor of a rooming house that had windows overlooking the hotel. The Lorraine became an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1991, the Lorraine Hotel was converted into the National Civil Rights Museum.
Open:june-august: mon-wed-sat 9 - 6 and sunday1-6
sept-may: mon-wed-sat 9-5 and sunday 1-5
cost: 12 dollars
the second week of our trip
Sunday: Funny I was tired when I went to bed but I just could not get off to sleep and Koos was the same. We were also up quite early; we had breakfast about 7.30. Koos made waffles for us but they are not my favourite breakfast. Then I phoned mum and dad and asked if she wanted to try skype – we did it for the first time this trip and we both enjoyed it. It was fun chatting away and it not costing anything. Then we packed the car and headed out for the day. First we went to Dahlonega which was a gold rush boomtown and has a lovely old centre. Of course when we got there it was still early and everything was shut but we enjoyed wandering around the small old centre square. Then we went on to Amicalola State Park. We drove up the road to the top of the waterfall and did a short hike there. The waterfall is the highest cascade falls east of the Mississippi River, but because of all the trees you cannot really see the falls from the top. We went down some of the 400 odd steps down but the view was not really any better. Amicalola is a Cherokee Indian word meaning ¨tumbling waters¨ The falls are 729 feet high. Very little was known about the falls before the 19th century the Cherokee tribe controlled the area that is the state park until 1838 when the ¨ Treaty of New Echota¨ forced the Cherokee to leave and go further west. This mass removal later became known as ¨the Trail of Tears¨. The park was not developed until 1938 when the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club decided to move the southern end of the Appalachian Trail to Springer Mountain. An 8,5-mile trail was made from the base of the falls to the top of Springer Mountain so that the trail hikers were able to get to the Appalachian Trail from a major road. When Bill Bryson and his friend walked the Appalachian Trail they started at Amicalola, he describes the walk in his book ¨A Walk in the Woods¨, which I love. We looked in at the visitors centre and then we were going to do the creek hike but there was a notice saying that there were lots of aggressive yellow jackets, a sort insect, along the path so we decided to give it a miss. Did not fancy being bitten! So we set ¨Tom¨ to Memphis and headed off towards TN. We stopped at an apple farm on the way and ought a large bag of apples – probably enough to last us the rest of the holiday. You could fill your own bag and of course we chose apples that we do not get in The Netherlands. It was very busy at the farm and it was amazing the amount of apples some people were buying. We chose a 9-dollar bag to fill and we will be eating apples every day until our flight home. We stopped for the night at Monteagle in a Best Western Hotel. It was hot and sunny all day.
Monday: We woke up just after 6 and decided just to get up because we had a long travel day today. I tried to skype with mum before we left but the server was very slow so we gave up. We just drove down only stopping for petrol and for a drink. We checked into the hotel, which is near the airport – I had phoned and booked it yesterday evening. When we checked in the place looked empty but when we returned in the evening it was quite busy. We decided to leave sightseeing until tomorrow and I looked around a nearby Michael’s and Hobby Lobby while Koos looked in Best Buy and Circuit City and then we had dinner before going back to the hotel.
Tuesday: We were up early this morning and had breakfast. We were on our way just after 8.30 to go to Graceland. It was only a few minutes drive from the hotel and we were first in the queue to go onto the parking lot, in fact we had to wait 20 minutes until they opened. We decided to get the platinum ticket, which cost 32 dollars each. We got our audio tour cassette and boarded the shuttle bus up to Graceland (the parking lot is on the opposite side o the street to it. It was quite busy so we were glad that we were early. We really enjoyed the tour of the mansion, which is smaller than we had thought it was. We walked through the memorial garden with the graves of Elvis parents and his grandmother and a plaque for his stillborn twin brother. Then we saw his car collection, his planes and the special ¨Private Elvis¨ that was about his time in the army. Then we had a light lunch and a very welcome cold drink. Back in the car we tried to switch on the GPS but it is broken and refused to work. We could hear the hard drive twirling but nothing happened. So we decided that we would replace it but no Tomtom this time. So we went to Circuit City and the man got a Garmin out of the showcase for us and we went to the cashdesk to pay for it. They swiped it through the computer and told us we could not have it because it had just been sold on the Internet. We said that the man had in fact just sold it to us but they said no it had been sold on the Internet but we could have another model. So I said no we would go elsewhere. Koos was ready to put up a fight for it but my big mouth put paid to that. So we went to Best Buy where they had the newest model 9the one after the model at Circuit City) for 20 dollars more. So we got that one, mind you the case to put it in was 3 dollars cheaper than in CC. So armed with our new GPS we went to the Lorraine Hotel where ML King was murdered. The National Civil Rights Museum was closed but we got photos of the balcony where he was killed. It was so hot there that we headed to the Peabody Place to get a cold drink. We walked around there and then headed north for a little bit to have dinner and then it was time to go to the hotel again for the night. It was a long day that was fun but had a bump or two.
Wednesday: We were up quite early after a very bad night with noise from cargo planes, even Koos had not slept well because of the noise. We had breakfast and then we headed off to the Peabody hotel. I went to the post office and got all our post cards sent. Then we had a coffee and walked back to the Peabody, we wanted to be early to get a good place to see the ducks. The duck trainer was very funny and told the history of the Peabody ducks and then rolled out the red carpet for them. They are celebrating 75 years Peabody ducks this year but the whole thing really started as a joke. Just before 11 he went up in the lift to check the ducks or as he said, "make sure they have had their morning coffee” then at 11 o’clock exactly the lift doors opened and the ducks walked out. It was just as if film stars had arrived – a barrage of flashlights and cameras met them. They walked along the red carpet to the fountain in the centre of the lobby as got in the water. They stay there all day. After that we drove to the parking for Mud Island, we decided to take the walkway over to the island in the Mississippi and not take the monorail. On the island there is the riverwalk which is a miniature river you can walk along and it has signs telling the history of "Old Man River". There was nowhere to get a drink though and it was so hot. We walked back and collected the car and headed out of Memphis towards Nashville. Where we had to pay for parking by Mud Island was so strange, every parking place had a number and at the entrance was a box with numbered slots in it where you had to put your money in. There was a sort of flat key hanging on a chain to push the money right into the slot so it could not be stolen, never seen anything like that before. We travelled north just stopping for a light lunch and later for petrol and a coffee. We stopped at the Ory Mills for the night; we found a very nice quiet hotel for the night and then went and had a subway sandwich in the Ory Mills. I turned in early for the night while Koos went on the computer and later watched an opera (well part of one).
Thursday: We were up just after 8 after sleeping very well. I certainly did not miss the planes! It was a very grey morning. We went into Barnes and Noble in the Opry Mills and looked after. Then we spent a couple of hours looking around the centre when we came out, after coffee, it was pouring with rain. We went to Hendersonville and visited the graves of Johnny and June Cash there. Luckily it was not raining while we were there but no sooner had we left the graveyard than it started to pour down and it did not stop for the rest of the day. We stopped at Lebanon where there is a factory outlet and Koos got a couple of Tommy Hilifger shirts, which were 10 dollars each. Then we headed out again and stopped for the night at Cookeville where we found a very good hotel – the Key West Inn.
Friday: We both slept very well and we were up just after 8 and luckily it was dry this morning although it was still a very grey sky. We had a nice breakfast and then I chatted to mum again. Then we packed up our things and set off. We were not going far today as we had booked a hotel in Knoxville for the next three nights. I had phoned yesterday and booked. We had tried for hotels in Gatlinburg, Townsend, Maryville and Pigeon Forge but things were all booked. The only rooms available were things in the High price range. In fact the hotel I booked only had the one room available. I did manage to get 10 dollars discount for each night being older than 55 years. When Koos went to check in though the man at the counter said they were not giving discounts because they were busy because of a ball game in town. Koos said the discount had been promised, the man said he would have to speak to the manager so Koos said get the manager. She gave us the promised discount straight away. We decided that we felt like having an early relaxing evening. So because we had a microwave, fridge, and coffee machine in the room we went out and got a couple of microwave dinners, veggies and yoghurt. Planned what we wanted to see and do tomorrow.
Saturday: Really do not feel like writing up my diary today – what an awful day. We went to breakfast at 8 and it was a very good breakfast. Then I went on skype with mum, which was fun. We then set off for Gatlinburg in sunshine, but the nearer we got to Pigeon Forge and certainly Gatlinburg the busier it got. So that long before we got to the park, in fact all through Gatlinburg we were driving nose to tail! To make things even more depressing the clouds really came down so there were no views and no autumn colours. Everywhere was full and nowhere to park at the view areas. So about half way to New found Gap we decided to call it a day and we turned back. We did stop in Pigeon Forge at the outlets with the idea of having a coffee but there the police were directing traffic and there was no place to park. So then we decided to go back to the hotel and have a coffee and a quiet afternoon. We got back to the hotel having had to take a detour because part of the interstate highway was closed and made a cup of coffee. I decided that I would look at my photos on the computer- put the card in it and read (to my horror and sadness) no photos on the card. We checked everything but no way could we get photos on the screen! Koos thinks that static electricity has deleted everything from the card but he is going to check it when we get home. All my holiday photos gone! I was miserable miserable miserable and shed a few tears. We made our plans for tomorrow when we are going to try going into the Smokies at Townsend which our guide says is less frenetic then Gatlinburg but can be very busy in the fall. We will see, so we are hoping for MUCH better weather tomorrow. We had dinner and then went out for a breath of fresh air for me as I was a bit short of breathe – I think the pillows are stuffed with feathers. We went to Borders bookshop, which I love and I found 2 audio books I wanted to replace cassettes I have at home.
The Lorraine Hotel Memphis
The Lorraine Hotel Memphis
The Lorraine Hotel Memphis
Just wondering if anyone has stayed at miami beach & spa hotel collins ave,south beach ,miami I am staying there for just a night and one day while waiting for a cruise to begin,but I have read such bad reveiws I was wondering if I should change or would it be ok for such a short period of a stay. I am going in June so I have still time to change. Any help would be great
Re: hotel query
i just returned from my first miami trip w/ a bunch of gfs. we found pretty great rates at the Carlton Hotel (not to be confused with the Ritz Carlton!) for $59. It is located right on Collins - its been newly renovated so everything is fresh and trendy. i'd definitely recomment checking it out if you're looking for just a night's stay. it's a great value w/ all the free amenities they offer. www.carltonsouthbeach.com