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Poor People’s Campaign traveling exhibit opens at National Civil Rights Museum

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:59 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new exhibit opening at the National Civil Rights Museum tells the history of one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s life legacies -- The Poor People’s Campaign.

The campaign brings attention to the country’s poverty and has its strongest roots right here in the Mid-South.

King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference started planning the campaign in 1968.

He was inspired after visiting Marks, Mississippi in Quitman County. Historians say after seeing the poverty in the Mid-South town, King wept.

They had plans for a mule train to travel from Marks to Washington D.C. to bring attention to the extreme poverty of some Americans but King was assassinated in Memphis before he could make it.

The mule train still continued and left Marks on May 13, 1968 -- 54 years ago on Friday.

Now Quitman County officials say the history of their community in this movement is planting seeds of hope.

“That’s one of the reasons why when the board of supervisors brought me on board to bring the Amtrak here and to look at trying to market the history of the Mule Train. So we are looking at tourism as one of those seeds of hope we can build upon,” Velma Wilson, Quitman County Economic and Tourism Director.

As for that exhibit Solidarity NOW 1968 Poor People’s Campaign here at NCRM opens on Saturday.

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