Driving the Mississippi Delta

 

Our first stop this morning was the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, a short distance from our hotel. The museum is located at the site of and incorporates part of the Lorraine Motel. Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in from of Room 306, on April 4, 1968. Because the museum opens at 9am and we had a number of places to visit on our route to Vicksburg, we didn’t spend as much time as we should have to go through all the exhibits. If you are in or near Memphis, make a point of visiting the museum and allow at least two hours to see the exhibits. Photography in the museum is permitted without flash. Low light in most exhibits made photography difficult.

Exterior of the Civil Rights Museum
Exterior of room 306. This is where King stood when he was shot.
Interior of room 306 in the Lorraine Motel. This was Martin Luther King’s Room on the day he died.
Exhibit showing how the slaves were kept below deck on the slave ship. The space each slave occupied was 3 feet high and three feet long.
Exhibit covering the Birmingham bus boycott

After leaving the museum, we picked up US Highway 61, the Great River Road. It is also known as part of the Mississippi Blues Trail. We only covered a small portion of the trail. The area we traveled through is known as the Mississippi Delta, not to be confused with the Delta of the Mississippi River. The terrain of the Delta is flat agricultural land where the highway goes straight as an arrow for miles.

There are many Blues related places to visit on and off US-61, but time constraints limited us. The main place we wanted to visit was The B. B. King Museum in Indianola, MS. B. B. King, one of the most famous Blues musicians, was born in Indianola and is buried on the grounds of the Museum. Lighting conditions in the museum were similar to those in the Civil Rights Museum.

B. B. King Museum, Indianola, MS
Bottle cap studded Gibson Guitar

We continued on from Indianola to Greenville and followed MS Highway 1 back to US-61 which took us to Vicksburg, MS.

2 thoughts on “Driving the Mississippi Delta”

  1. Fascinating trip! The last time I was in Memphis the King museum didn’t exist. No Elvis visit for you? As usual I always enjoy reading your blogs. Safe travels!

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