Written by nmagann on 24 Feb, 2013
I simply can’t say enough about the transportation in Atlanta. Directly from the airport we were able to board MARTA at 11:30pm to Peachtree Street. As we stood reading the directions at the machine, a MARTA representative told us we had to buy…Read More
I simply can’t say enough about the transportation in Atlanta. Directly from the airport we were able to board MARTA at 11:30pm to Peachtree Street. As we stood reading the directions at the machine, a MARTA representative told us we had to buy a card at a cost of $1 and then put in the number of trips we wanted at $2.50 each. We could continue to add to the card any time. We even discovered it could be used for the buses.At our stop where there was an underground mall as it was the transfer station for east-west lines and north-south lines. At the end of very long escalator ride to surface, we were greeted by an ambassador. He wound up walking us to the condo we had rented a mere 2 blocks away. He also gave us a thumbnail sketch of the general direction of the main attractions from where we were to get our bearings. Frequency of the trains is approximately 15-20 minutes depending on day of the week. The cars are exceptionally clean and quiet.While riding the MARTA, each stop is not only called out, but the nearby attractions listed. Maps with information are at every stop and most have restrooms as well. The buses parked near the terminals are clearly marked with the number and destination. As it was luck, accidentally repeatedly tapping my card, I had used extra trips and my card was empty. I sat down on the bus and returned with the proper amount in coins. Because that part of the machine was not working, she simply told me I could add to my card at my destination. How very nice, I thought. Clearly a tourist, she could have left me stranded.On the bus ride to Stone Mountain, after we asked the driver to let us off at the appropriate place she proceeded to tell us about her experience climbing the mountain with her much younger and spryer nephew. At the stop, she called out to some teens to verify the direction we would walk to the entry gate and told us where to exit the park for the return home.Making things this easy, we could easily return for a short duration and see plenty. I foresee another extended weekend.Close
Written by koshkha on 19 Apr, 2011
I’ve never had a very high opinion of American-owned airlines and this has been mostly based on the dreadful service I’ve had on multiple flights with American Airlines. After witnessing their policy of massive overbooking (which they laughingly claim is for the BENEFIT of their…Read More
I’ve never had a very high opinion of American-owned airlines and this has been mostly based on the dreadful service I’ve had on multiple flights with American Airlines. After witnessing their policy of massive overbooking (which they laughingly claim is for the BENEFIT of their customers) and having a flight cancelled out from under me (despite being booked in business class and having confirmed it) I vowed to stay away and stick with European carriers for flights to the USA. Unfortunately when I needed to go to Atlanta recently there was no sensible alternative to flying with Delta. I didn’t expect them to be brilliant but even my lowest possible imaginings didn’t prepare me for just how bad they were. My company paid a ridiculous price of over £1600 each for my return ticket but if the flight had cost £300 I would have considered it to still be poor value.I checked in online the day before my flights and on each occasion the online check in gave me precisely zero option to change my seat. Surely that’s the point of online check in – log on early enough and you can change your seat. But in this case you get what you are given and take it or leave it.My flights were in the last week of March from Manchester to Atlanta returning later the same week. In each case the flights were absolutely full to bursting which surprised me at what should have been rather an off-peak time. I hadn’t realised of course that most of the people on the plane probably weren’t actually going to Atlanta but were transiting on and using the airport as a hub.Lowering my expectations before we flew I told myself not to expect too much. Quite possibly they wouldn’t have on demand video on the seat back TVs. I might be advised to pick up a sandwich just in case they had no vegetarian food, and I thought I might be a bit cramped. I didn’t bargain on a plane smaller than those that European airlines would use for flights no more than 3 or 4 hours in duration which looked like it had been in service since before the moon landings. My seat back TV concerns were blown out of the water by discovering that on demand video (which I do take for granted on flights to what most people consider the less developed parts of the world) would be two steps ahead of what Delta were offering – i.e. no seat back screens at all. If you wanted to watch a film there was no choice at all and the screens were far enough away to make viewing difficult and uncomfortable. With 2-3-2 configuration only one seventh of the economy passengers is going to get stuck without a window or aisle seat. On the way out I had a window with no view because I was over the wing. I gave up looking out of the windows a long time ago so it was no issue for me. I was also lucky to get a very nice lady next to me to share magazines with and indulge in some ‘Would you believe how primitive this airline is’ moaning. The seat was only of short-haul width and short-haul leg room but I wasn’t majorly uncomfortable. Sadly the same couldn’t be said for the return flight where I had the bad luck of being on the aisle in the row behind the bulk head. The guy in front in his military fatigues had plenty of leg room, a nice deep recline right into my lap and was fawned over by crew and fellow passengers the whole way. I was crammed in a seat with less leg room than I’d get on Ryanair (I’m not exaggerating – I checked) and no space to read, use my laptop or eat my dinner. With nowhere to put my legs my left knee crept into the aisle where the flight attendant (I like to call them stewardesses because they really hate that) aimed for it each time she went up the plane with her trolley. She tried to tell me off for my errant body part. I asked her where she suggested I put in bearing in mind I had one of America’s finest in my lap and no leg space at all. She told me she "could care less but don’t put it in my aisle". Maybe I should turn round and cramp the space of the poor guy in the middle seat who got hoodwinked into giving up his aisle seat by a bossy old bag who promised him a better seat further up then forced him to go back and move to the middle. He told me any further acts of self-sacrifice that he undertook would be strictly indulged in on solid ground and not on a Delta aircraft.The plane was cold in both directions and the blanket supplied was thin and inadequate. You don’t get any kind of amenity pack on the overnight flight and that was a real surprise. I expected a toothbrush, an eyeshade, maybe a plastic pen for filling out my paperwork. I don’t think this was an unreasonable expectation since every other airline I’ve ever done an overnight flight with provides such things. Delta don’t appear to want to give you the time of day let alone a ten cent pen and a titchy tube of toothpaste. To be fair not everything about the two flights was completely crappy. Almost everything but not quite. The crew on the Manchester to Atlanta leg were the sweetest, cheeriest and jolliest flight attendants I’ve ever had the good fortune to travel with. The food was not awful and they had plenty of vegetarian dishes since the choice was "chicken or pasta" both ways. The did some fun things like handing out pizza and ice-cream on the way over to Atlanta but the food on the way back was less interesting. Unfortunately there’s not enough pizza and ice-cream in the universe to make up for no legroom, inadequate entertainment and stroppy stewardesses. We joke about flying cattle class but I suspect that farm animals get better treatment and more space than Delta’s economy passengers stuffed into an elderly Boeing 767. I normally ooze jealousy when I have to go long haul in economy but the facilities in business class weren’t much better. When did BA and Virgin introduce flat beds in business? It must be 10 years ago or more. Delta are still using old reclining chairs and even they are crammed too closely together. Hell really will freeze over before I book another Delta flight. I now know why BA claim to be ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’ – it’s because jokers like Delta are their competition. I’m sure their name is meant to reflect their geographic headquarters and not the grade that their customers would give them. In my case, based on these two flights they’d not even scrape a D-grade – they’d be strictly ‘unclassified’.Close
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 22 Jan, 2009
The beginning of our tour of the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library in Atlanta began with an exhibit on his early life in Plains, Georgia, a small town of about 650 people in Central Georgia. I have read several of Jimmy Carter's books including…Read More
The beginning of our tour of the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library in Atlanta began with an exhibit on his early life in Plains, Georgia, a small town of about 650 people in Central Georgia. I have read several of Jimmy Carter's books including The Hour Before Daylight and Sharing Good Times, but there were several more things about Jimmy Carter I learned in the museum during my visit.
James Earl Carter, Jr. was born on October 1, 1924 to James Earl and Lillian Carter. James Carter was a farmer and business owner in town while Miss Lillian, as she was known, was a registered nurse who received payment in livestock more than cash from the residents of Plains who asked for her services. There were four children in the family, and they grew up playing with both white and black children in the area while taking criticism from white farmers for their moderate ways.
Jimmy Carter was a good student during his school years and after graduation from high school, Carter went onto junior college in Georgia while waiting for his appointment to Annapolis and the Naval Academy. The exhibit has many family photos and his high school photo for all to see. Two years into college, Carter was admitted to Annapolis where he excelled and graduated in 1948. During his time in Annapolis, Jimmy Carter met Rosalynn Smith, a local girl who would become his wife in 1947. Rosalynn's wedding dress, a simple white dress with a navy blue short-sleeved jacket, and Jimmy Carter's dress whites that he wore on his wedding day are on display on mannequins in the museum.
After 6 years touring around the world with the Navy, Jimmy Carter resigned from the Navy when his father died of Pancreatic Cancer, a disease that would take the lives of all of Carter's siblings and Miss Lillian. Jimmy didn't consult Rosalynn about his resignation until the last minute and was in her dog house for a while after doing so.
Jimmy and Rosalynn brought up their four children in Plains and Jimmy became involved in local politics that led to his running for Governor in 1966 (he lost) and successfully in 1970. Once again, Jimmy failed to consult with Rosalynn about running for office in 1966 and was in her dog house for a while again! I'll bet Jimmy Carter now consults with Rosalynn whenever he is off to save the world!
There are several other things that Jimmy Carter accomplished in his early life, but one has to visit the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library themselves in order to experience his extraordinary life and accomplishments!
Touring the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library and seeing many of the parts of history that President Carter was part of and his personal life brought back so many memories of my childhood in Rhode Island in the late-1970's and early 1980's.When Jimmy Carter was…Read More
Touring the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library and seeing many of the parts of history that President Carter was part of and his personal life brought back so many memories of my childhood in Rhode Island in the late-1970's and early 1980's.
When Jimmy Carter was running for President in 1976 and was elected and took office in 1977, we grew up learning about his fascinating family including his daughter, Amy, who was my age, and his youngest brother, Billy. Billy Carter was kind of a failed entremprenuer and ambassador for his brother's Presidency, and he is famous for brewing his famous Billy Beer that was sold nationwide in several liquor stores. I remember my Dad buying a six pack of Billy Beer at the local Riverside Liquors and giving it a try at home. After a few sips and swilling it around his mouth, Dad said it tasted like cheap beer, and he didn't buy another pack of the stuff again. This is surprising because Dad now drinks Milwaukee's Best while he moans about my taste for the "Rich Person's Beer," Samuel Adams. The Billy Beer concept failed along with some of the other business ventures Billy Carter started.
Jimmy Carter came into office during a gas crisis in which several gas stations around the country were running out of gas due to an oil embargo. In 1978, several states initiated an odds/evens system of getting gas in which if you had an even number license plate number, you could only get gas on a certain day, and vise versa. The long lines waiting to get gas on a designated day growing up in Rhode Island and when my Dad was working near Philadelphia from 1978-1979 made the long wait a game for my sister and I when we would point out people with even numbered license plates trying to get gas on the wrong day.
Another time during Jimmy Carter's Presidency was the Camp David Accords with Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin. After decades of war between the two nations over the Sanai, the piece of land between Israel and Egypt, the two old lions of these two nations were kissing and making up with the help of the United States. I would sit at home watching the news during the peace talks at the Presidential retreat in Maryland and was thrilled when the peace treaty was signed by Sadat, Begin, and Carter in 1978 and eventually had a friendship that lasted until Sadat's assassination in 1981. This peace between Egypt and Israel has outlasted Begin and Sadat and is an everlasting legacy to Jimmy Carter.
Where were you when the Iran Hostage Crisis took place on November 4, 1979? I was in 7th grade at the time and seeing the newspaper articles at the Carter Museum brought back memories of a crisis in our nation's history that destroyed Jimmy Carter's Presidency. I would watch the news every night with my parents and sister and an interview with the Ayatollah Khomeni made me think of him of an evil old man. A friend's brother even had a poster on his bedroom door with a picture of Khomeni with a bulls-eye and the expression "AYATOLLAH COCK-A-MENI!" printed on it. We found that pretty amusing for the time. Thousands of cars, including our Oldsmobile 442 and Oldmobile Vista Cruiser, had yellow ribbons or white handkerchiefs tied to the antennas in a show of support for the hostages in Iran, and many of us were hoping for Carter to lose the 1980 election in order for the hostages to come home, and that they did after Carter left office on January 20, 1981. Jimmy Carter's Presidency wasn't as successful as after his presidency when he was instrumental in several peace brokerings throughout the world that led to his 2002 Nobel Peace Prize and Habitat for Humanity that has given several low-income families a place to call home.
Jimmy Carter is a hero of mine, and I was so honored to finally visit his Library and Museum and see his legacy in person.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 21 Jan, 2009
After visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site and having a quick lunch on the grounds from Superior Fish Company, Mom and I were ready to head down the road to The Jimmy Carter Museum and Library. Located on Freedom Parkway, the…Read More
After visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site and having a quick lunch on the grounds from Superior Fish Company, Mom and I were ready to head down the road to The Jimmy Carter Museum and Library. Located on Freedom Parkway, the Carter Center is home to thousands of our 39th President's memorabilia and documents from his presidency to his Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 to Habitat for Humanity and other endeavors Mr. Carter and his wife Rosalynn have been a part of for the 27 years Mr. Carter has been out of office.
What I thought was going to be an easy run from downtown Atlanta down Freedom Parkway to the Carter Library and Museum turned out to be a little more difficult than expected. With Mom riding shotgun and keeping an eye out for any signs, we saw some signs to the museum and center but missed the turnoff to get into the parking lot and wound up at the intersection of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Freedom Parkway. GRRR! Mom was having a little beauty crisis and needed something from a drug store, and we saw a Rite Aid and decided to stop there for Mom and for directions. The nice girl at the counter gave Mom and me directions and wondered where we were from and we told her that we were from Pensacola and were enjoying a nice day in Atlanta visiting the King Center and Carter Library. After leaving Rite Aid, Mom and I were on our way again.
We felt the signage to the Carter Library wasn't the best, but the second time was a charm, and we found the entrance to the Museum and Library, and turned off. It's a little bit of a way into the parking lot, but traffic was light for a Saturday afternoon, and Mom and were able to park near the circle of the 50 State flags and walked around a little bit before going inside the center. The grounds of the Carter Library and Center are beautifully kept and have statues and other gifts from around the USA and World.
The Carter Library and Museum has parts owned and administered by the Federal government, but library itself was built on land owned by the State of Georgia that was originally to be a highway project that Jimmy Carter cancelled while he was Georgia's governor. Construction began in 1984, and the Jimmy Carter Center and Library officially opened on October 1, 1986, Jimmy Carter's 62nd Birthday.
Mom and I entered the museum and its little souvenir stand. After paying for our admission tickets, we were told by the lady at the counter that there was a movie on Carter's Presidency starting in a couple of minutes in the movie theater next door. Actually it was starting as Mom and I took our seats, and we enjoyed a 20-minute film made in the 1980's narrated by Cliff Robertson. After the movie, Mom and I entered the museum and began touring it.
Jimmy Carter's life is one of family, public service, and world peace, and Mom and I enjoyed touring around the museum learning more about his life and family. There is a replica of Jimmy Carter's Oval Office in a separate area of the museum, and Mom and I were fascinated about how it looked like in the 1970's. There are also displays of the many gifts that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter received from many foreign leaders and dignitaries while they were in office that are worth time looking at. Jimmy Carter was instrumental in returning the Crown of St. Stephen to Hungary in 1977 after being in American hands since the end of World War II when the crown was given to American Soldiers from Hungarians fleeing the Soviet Red Army who overran Hungary in February 1945. A replica of the Crown is on display in the museum under glass.
Along with photos and memorabilia of the Carter family and their life, there is a temporary display of Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in mediating and ending wars in several nations and his search for world peace. I enjoyed looking at his medals from the Norwegian government and trying to translate the invitation from Norwegian to English that Carter received to get his Nobel Peace Prize in Olso, Norway.
Flash photography isn't allowed in the Carter Library and Museum, and I managed to get some pictures of the Nobel Peace Prize, Oval Office replica, and Crown of St. Stephen without my flash since they were in bright light. After touring the museum, Mom and I looked in the souvenir shop again and then headed outside to tour the grounds. A fountain is in front of the Center but wasn't in use due to it being wintertime in Georgia and freezing weather can damage water pipes. Mom and I looked at a Cherokee Rose plant that was a gift along with a statue of a caribou from Alaska's governor (not that one!) during Carter's Presidency. Mom and I joked that the poor creature was probably shot by Sarah Palin and is hanging in her living room! The Georgia Department of Energy gave Carter a lamppost as an award to his efforts to make Georgia an energy efficient state and it's outside the center. After touring the grounds, Mom and I were ready to head back to Douglasville and declared the day a success.
The Jimmy Carter Museum and Library is open daily from 8-4:30 and it costs one $8 to enter ($6 for seniors and young 'uns). It is well worth your time the next time you are in Atlanta to tour this place of history and peace.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 18 Jan, 2009
Here's a little trivial tidbit on Martin Luther King, Jr. Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father's original names were Michael Luther King, Sr. and Jr.? After Junior was born in 1929, he and his father were baptised at…Read More
Here's a little trivial tidbit on Martin Luther King, Jr. Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father's original names were Michael Luther King, Sr. and Jr.? After Junior was born in 1929, he and his father were baptised at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and their names were changed from Michael Sr. and Jr. to Martin.
Mom and my final stop on the tour of Martin Luther King, Jr's life in Atlanta ended at his birthplace 501 Auburn Avenue. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in this 1895 Victorian home on January 15, 1929 and was baptised a block away at the old Ebenezer Baptist Church in February 1929. Before Martin's birth, the house belonged to his maternal grandparents, Reverend A.D. Williams and Jennie Williams, and Martin, Jr's parents moved into the house after their marriage in 1926. After Martin's grandmother died in 1941, the family moved to a house on Boulevard, but the house remained in the family name and was converted into a duplex that Dr. King, Jr's brother lived in for a time during the 1950's and 1960's.
The block on Auburn Avenue where Martin Luther King, lived for his first 12 years has been going under an extensive restoration of its houses since the early 1990's, and it is still going on today. Mom and I walked past a multi-family home at the beginning of King's block and it was in pretty rough shape with broken windows and sagging porches, but I am sure that it will be restored to its former glory in the future. Several other homes in the neighborhood have been restored and are home to low-income families and other Atlanta residents. I was so impressed with this restoration project and the beautiful architecture that I originally skipped Martin Luther King's birthplace and had to turn around to find it. In fact, I thought his house was a different color and took pictures of it without looking at the plaque at the steps leading to the house. DUH!
Across the street from MLK's birthplace are a row of shotgun houses that were built at the end of the 19th century and were home to African-American laborers. It was also a place of activism and violence and several times, the police were called to these shotgun houses to break up union meetings and strikes for better wages and treatment of African-American workers who lived in the area. Today, they are home to low-income and other residents of Atlanta. It's well worth a few minutes to check these houses out and read the plaques in front of them.
Mom and I arrived too late for a guided tour (the only way you can see the inside of Martin Luther King's Birthplace) of the interior of the home, but we learned a lot from walking around the neighborhood and outside the home and walked the same sidewalks that Martin Luther King, Jr. used to walk as a child.
If you are interested in touring the exterior of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthhome, you can make reservations by telephone or on the Internet. The tours start from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center further up the road on Auburn and are free of charge. There are signs along Auburn Avenue pointing out important aspects of African-American life and King's life along the way and remember that this is still an active neighborhood and to respect their ways and properties. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Birth Home is highly recommended to visit during your time in Atlanta.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 17 Jan, 2009
After touring Ebenezer Baptist Church, Mom and I walked further down Auburn Avenue towards Martin Luther King, Jr's tomb. On April 4, 1968, while in Memphis, Tennessee giving a sermon to striking workers there, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray,…Read More
After touring Ebenezer Baptist Church, Mom and I walked further down Auburn Avenue towards Martin Luther King, Jr's tomb.
On April 4, 1968, while in Memphis, Tennessee giving a sermon to striking workers there, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray, a white supremacist who was against desegregation and Martin Luther King's activism. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as he was standing outside his room at the Lorraine Hotel with Jesse Jackson and other Civil Rights activists, and one of the most moving pictures of history is the photo of Dr. King lying dead in a pool of blood while Reverend Jackson and the others point up to the location of James Earl Ray's sniper position.
After Dr. King's assassination, his body was brought back to Atlanta for the funeral and burial. His funeral was held in the Old Ebenezer Baptist Church where King had preached from 1960-1968, but he was originally buried in South View Cemetery near his family. In 1977, Dr. King's remains were moved to its current place in the plaza between Ebenezer Baptist Church and The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. There is a reflecting pool surrounding his grave along with an eternal flame in front.
Coretta Scott King was buried next to her husband on February 7, 2006 after spending decades continuing her husband's cause. Mom and I visited the tomb after touring the center and Ebenezer Baptist Church, and it was very moving for both of us. Although I was only 26 days short of my first birthday in 1968, I have always been moved by Dr. King and his non-violent search for peace and equality for all, and visiting his grave was a dream come true for me and my mother who spent a short period of her life working in Washington, DC in the 1960's and saw what segregation was like there.
The wind made the eternal flame in front of Dr. King's tomb hard to see, but we could hear the whoosh of the gas and once in a while a spark or flare of flame would show up. People have thrown coins into the reflecting pool to give them luck and peace, but I just made a sign of the cross as a sign of respect before Mom and I left for Martin Luther King, Jr's Birthplace. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and sites have left an indelible impression that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Of course I was religious. I grew up in the church. My father is a preacher, my grandfather was a preacher, my great-grandfather was a preacher, my only brother is a preacher, my daddy's brother is a preacher. So I didn't have…Read More
Of course I was religious. I grew up in the church. My father is a preacher, my grandfather was a preacher, my great-grandfather was a preacher, my only brother is a preacher, my daddy's brother is a preacher. So I didn't have much choice.--Martin Luther King, Jr.
After Mom and I finished touring inside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and its awesome museum, Mom and I headed outside to continue visiting Martin Luther King's neighborhood in downtown Atlanta. The park surrounding the MLK Center facing Auburn Avenue is beautifully laid out, and Mom and I enjoyed the unusually warm January weather to wander around the grounds before heading to the other sites. On the grounds is a gorgeous statue by a local sculptor of Kunta Kinte, the descendant of Roots author Alex Haley, in that famous pose where he holds up his baby daughter during its baptism and says "BEHOLD!" That is also the name of the statue, and I loved the picture I took of it so much that I had it enlarged for my photo wall in my bedroom.
After seeing the BEHOLD! Statue, Mom and I got our bearings and started to look for the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. preached (1960-1968) along with his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother before him. We saw the new Ebenezer Baptist Church on the center grounds next door, and it took us a minute to look around and find the Old Ebenezer Baptist Church was located across the street on Auburn Avenue. So off Mom and I went to check out the church and learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his life as a preacher.
The Old Ebenezer Baptist Church was built in the Gothic Revival style of architecture in 1922, and Martin Luther King, Sr., the father, became pastor in 1931 succeeding his father-in-law A.D. Williams. Martin Luther King, Jr. became pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1960, and the church became the center of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and hosted many meetings and rallies during the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave some of his most stirring sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church including the 1965 "American Dream" sermon and his last sermon at Ebenezer called "Unfulfilled Dreams" in March 1968. Although by the time of Dr. King's assassination the congregation had moved across the road to the New Ebenezer Baptist Church, his funeral was held inside the old church as a "farewell to his spiritual home."
Today, the Old Ebenezer Baptist Church is open to the public for tours and special occasions, but when Mom and I visited the Old Ebenezer Baptist Church this January, it was closed for renovations and restoration. The restoration began in 2007 and will be turning the church interior to its glory days in the 1950's and 1960's.
It was a bummer that we couldn't go inside the church, but Mom and I made the best of it and went inside the rectory next door to tour the gift shop and look at the collage of photos on the entrance wall that shows all of the pastors who preached at Ebenezer. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a small photo on the top of the collage and not in a big 8 x 10 glossy apart from the other pastors. He was considered an ordinary person and this collage shows this.
After touring the rectory of the old church and taking pictures, Mom and I went across the road to the New Ebenezer Baptist Church. Built in the 1950's, the new sanctuary was bigger than the old sanctuary and housed the growing number of people attending the church to hear Dr. King's sermons. A plaque is to the left of the main entrance naming the pastors who preached at Ebenezer including several members of the King family. After Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in 1968 followed another tragedy to the family in 1971 when his mother Alberta was shot to death by a crazed person while playing the piano during Sunday services.
During the day of our visit, a health fair was being held in the church entryway, and no one was allowed to go inside the sanctuary. However, the sanctuary can be seen through the plate glass windows that line the wall in the entry hall.
Ebenezer Baptist Church is open daily for tours and is free of charge. You can tour the church when services aren't going on or attend a service to experience what it was like to attend this historical church during Martin Luther King's time.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 16 Jan, 2009
January 20, 2009 will be a great moment in American History when Barack Obama will be sworn into office as the first African-American President of the United States of America. If only Martin Luther King, Jr. was alive to see this momentous time in…Read More
January 20, 2009 will be a great moment in American History when Barack Obama will be sworn into office as the first African-American President of the United States of America. If only Martin Luther King, Jr. was alive to see this momentous time in our history.
Last summer, I wanted to see the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site in Atlanta, but my cousin and aunt discouraged us from going saying it was in a bad part of town. I felt it was a case of their being prejudice and left Georgia really ticked off that I didn't get to see the place. I told Mom I would take her to Georgia in January to visit the family, but we needed to visit the Martin Luther King NHS irregardless of what the family says is a bad neighborhood or not.
So leaving the sniffling and coughing aunt at home in Douglasville to drain snot out of her head into a trash bucket and the cousin and her brat off to the mall with her ex-girlfriend, Mom and I took off for Atlanta on a chilly Saturday morning. After about a half-hour driving on I-20 and 1-75/85, we got off Exit 248C and easily found the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site thanks to signs marking the way to the place.
After parking the car in the huge parking lot leading to the center, Mom and I began our odyssey to learn more about the great Civil Rights Leader and Nobel Peace Prize activist. Our trip began along a path called The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. This path was created in 2004 by Xernora Clayton, a civil rights icon and activist and is lined with several plaques of African-American activists and their supporters with their footprints embedded into their plaques below their names. Mom and I spent a good few minutes walking this path reading the names and putting our feet up to the footprints of some of the most famous names in History including Bill Clinton, Bishop Desmond Tutu ("My Bishop Tutu has such little feet!", Mom and I mused), Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.
The path leads to the Ghandi Promenade and a statue of the Indian activist who peacefully sought rights for the Indian people and independence from Great Britain until his untimely assassination in 1948. After taking pictures of the statue and reading the passage engraved on the statue, Mom and I went inside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center where there is an emotional and awesome gallery about his life and work in bringing equality to the African-Americans of the South.
The photos and memorabilia hit you like a line drive with its emotional tales of lynchings and other horrible things done to African-Americans in the South after the Civil War. An African-American in the South couldn't even say "Hi!" to a white woman without a charge of rape coming afterwards, and one unfortunate African-American from Chicago found out the hard way that calling a white woman a "Babe" got himself put and jail and hanged by a lynch mob in the 1950's.
The most moving parts of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center were the statues of people of all races and creeds marching across a "bridge to freedom and equality." Located in the middle of the museum, one can walk along these statues depicting an African-American woman, a handicapped man, a child, and other people who have suffered indignation in our nation.
Well I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I have been to the mountaintop. . .Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Memphis Mason Temple--April 3, 1968.
As Mom and I toured the center, we could hear recordings of Dr. King's speeches and sermons he made throughout his life, and I was brought to tears when I came up to the display depicting the last 24 hours of Martin Luther King's life. I have always gotten emotional when I hear his stirring "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, and that day in the Martin Luther King Center was no exception. There is a clock on this display that is stopped at 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, when the bullet fired by James Earl Ray ended Martin Luther King's life on the balcony of that Memphis hotel, and the photo of Jesse Jackson and the others pointing towards the sniper's position put me into an emotional tailspin.
You cannot take photos of the Gallery in the Center that holds the simple wooden coffin and wagon that took Martin Luther King, Jr. to his final resting place down the street, but looking at it will engrave that memory in my head forever.
After touring the museum, Mom and I went into the gift shop where I bought Martin Luther King's autobiography along with a parchment copy of his stirring I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech on the eve of his death. There are also t-shirts, coffee mugs, and children's literature on sale in the shop.
Admission to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site is free of charch and open from 8-5 daily except for holidays. The Center and the surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr. sites including his birthplace and grave are on Auburn Avenue and are in a still residential area of Atlanta. So respect the rights of the residents who live here and don't tromp all over their lawns to see a part of American History. For those who are concerned about the neighborhood the center sits in, there are park rangers from the National Park Services walking around the center and on Auburn Avenue to keep folks safe and to answer any questions or give directions to visitors to the area. Next time you are in the Atlanta area, please take the a morning or afternoon to visit this emotional and most awesome place in American History. Hell, I would come back again just to experience the whole experience again!
Written by Little Ayun on 12 Sep, 2007
This isn’t so much an "experience" as a set of recommendations for anyone who intends to eat a lot of meals out and doesn’t have a local source in the know. I’m in no way a snob about eating out, but overall I think Atlanta’s…Read More
This isn’t so much an "experience" as a set of recommendations for anyone who intends to eat a lot of meals out and doesn’t have a local source in the know. I’m in no way a snob about eating out, but overall I think Atlanta’s restaurants are so hit-or-miss that some work is necessary if you don’t want to be disappointed by your meal. I had a couple of terrific meals, but I had to go looking for them, and I paid way too much for food that wasn’t worth half its price more than once.I don’t generally think of myself as a foodie, nor do I make a habit of researching the heck out of restaurant choices the way I do bookstores and obscure museums when visiting a new city. Most places I’ve been, it hasn’t seemed necessary – glance at a good local website for featured eateries, pick one with entrées in the $10-15 range and/or a novel menu gimmick/ethnic cuisine, and I’m good to go. It takes about a minute and a half, and I can’t remember ever feeling burned by this method. More often than not I pick a place to eat by glancing at menus posted in windows when I’m out and about. But man, Atlanta restaurants are not to be trusted.Here’s the numbers: I tried to go to nine different restaurants. Of those nine, three were either not open when they should have been or out of business altogether. Of the six I actually ate at, four were disappointments. Two of the four disappointing places were expensive (entrées approaching thirty bucks) to boot. I went a whole 2 for 9 in Atlanta, when I usually bat close to a thousand. The Braves got swept that weekend, too. Maybe something was in the air.I’m not sure if my experiences eating out in Atlanta were due to an extraordinary string of fantastically bad luck, poor judgment, or a baseline standard for what’s good restaurant food that’s way lower than what I’m used to, but I have my suspicions. In any case, even if you find you’re not as cranky as I was about the quality of the food, it’s absolutely necessary to call a restaurant before you show up. It’s not about getting reservations; it’s about making sure the restaurant actually exists and is open for business. I got burned several times by spontaneous closings ("We’re taking the day off to go to the Pride Parade!"), undocumented overhauls ("We don’t do tapas anymore, now we serve Modern American food!") and maddeningly unpredictable opening hours ("We think it’s absurd that you’d want to eat dinner after 8 o’clock!") Even if you’re not picky about the food, the practicalities of eating out in Atlanta are surprisingly tricky for a city that’s supposedly world-class.Here’s what to do if you’re interested in the quality of what you eat: Ignore downtown, especially around Peachtree Center’s hotel tower canyon (i.e., where the Hooters is), even if you’re not footing the bill (because the food tends to be criminally overpriced in that area). Other options should be honest-to-gosh researched if you want to eat anything vaguely interesting – find at least two reviews if you’re doing things online, and check the dates. Good restaurants are out there – my first night in town I hit the jackpot with a "Soul Tapas" place that had terrific local atmosphere, plus mezze-style salad and chicken and waffles on the menu – but you’ll have to do a little looking for them. Don’t trust Creative Loafing (Atlanta’s alternative weekly newspaper) for this – the online restaurant database is seriously out-of-date, and whoever writes their reviews has awfully low standards. I had some good luck with Yelp.com, though the Atlanta content on the site isn’t nearly as extensive as it is for geekier cities like Boston or San Francisco. Dedicated foodie boards like Chowhound may be helpful as well. I decided my guidebook was fairly useless (glad I got it at the library!) early on, so no help there. The best food and drink I had was in Decatur, at places my buddy Russ took me to. Too bad I couldn’t carry him in my pocket all week long. Once you’ve chosen a restaurant, make sure you’ve got good directions, especially if you’re trying to get there by train or bus. Transit hubs don’t overlap very well with dense walkable neighborhoods in this city, and you may have to take a bit of a hike to get where you’re going, occasionally through an area that doesn’t look like it’s got any human life at all.That sounds like a lot of effort - I feel obligated to point out again that I’m not picky - but I promise it’s worth it.Close