sharolyn (sharolyn) wrote in doitdollystyle,

Civil Rights Museum and Peabody Ducks

After Graceland we headed back to the Heartbreak Hotel for a bit, then proceeded to the Civil Rights Museum. A client had told me it was a Memphis Must See, and she was 100% right.

The Civil Rights Museum is built onto the Lorraine Hotel, the hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed. The original hotel facade has been preserved, with the spot where he was shot marked with a wreath. We were there for probably and hour and a half perusing the exhibits, and it was probably one of the most intense and sobering museums I've ever experienced. It traces the black fight for equality from the Civil War to present day. It's information heavy... I probably could have spent another day trying to absorb everything... but also highly interactive, with a bus recreating the Rosa Parks incident, and a lunch counter display with models of protesters in the 50's (I think? It might have been the 60's.) sitting at the white only counters. Behind the display video footage from that time is shown of people pouring food on the protesters, forcibly pulling them off the stools, a woman declaring that them sitting down and saying she had to serve them was a violation of HER civil rights... There's a Ku Klux Klan uniform, photos of people who have been lynched... Rachel and I didn't say a word throughout the entire visit. Intense really doesn't begin to describe it.

Leaving the museum, we went downtown to the Peabody Hotel for the famous Peabody Ducks ceremony. Every morning at 11pm the elevators open and four ducks are paraded down a red carpet to the fountain in the middle of the lobby, where they spend the day splashing around. Every night at 5pm, with great pomp and circumstance, they are paraded back up the red carpet to the elevator to their night time home on the roof. It is entirely ridiculous and very fun, and has been going on since the 30's. We laughed at the randomness of it all, then adjourned to Beale Street for chicken fried chicken.

By the time we got back to the hotel, we were so exhausted that we collapsed in the lounge of hotel in front of the Elvis documentary, and let 2 hours slip away with the help of some wine.

I could get used to this Memphis life.
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