Open Door Experience to History

Following King’s release from the Birmingham Jail in 1963, King fought charges that he and others protested without the proper permits. After several appeals, in 1967 a Supreme Court judge upheld his conviction and required him to serve the remaining three days of his original four-day sentence in Birmingham.

On October 30, 1967, a crush of media awaited King’s arrival at the Birmingham Jail, leading officers to reroute him to Bessemer to avoid undue media attention. King and his brother A.D. King, Wyatt T. Walker and Ralph Abernathy spent a night in the Bessemer County Jail. However, in the cloak of darkness on October 31st, Bessemer police transferred these civil right warriors to the Birmingham Jail to complete their sentence.

Walk the same path as Dr. King
Jan. 15th - Feb. 28th

The Open Door Experience to History will open January 15th, the day of King’s birthday, and will remain open until February 28th. Due to an anticipated high demand, the museum will only honor reservations.

The seasonal Open Door Experience to History will reveal The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s experience in the Bessemer Jail on October 30, 1967.

The museum experience will allow visitors to walk the same path that Dr. King, his brother A.D. King, Wyatt T. Walker and Ralph Abernathy walked 46 years ago in the Bessemer Jail. Come see the actual booking desk, booking card and photos by reserving your visit today.

This exhibit will allow individuals to come as close as possible to experiencing the night Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was imprisoned in Bessemer Jail for standing up for Civil Rights.

Reserve Your Visit Today

“For many, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s imprisonment in Bessemer is an unknown piece of history. We have an obligation to share his experience in Bessemer with the world, and add to a history we thought we knew everything about.”

— Sandra Little Brown, Jefferson County Commissioner, District 2

“Dr. King is an icon. His travails and experiences helped shape history. This is why this museum exhibit, and King’s experiences in Bessemer are so important.”

— Mike Hale, Jefferson County Sheriff

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, I am elated that this exhibit marking King’s stay in the Bessemer County Jail will serve as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices made by Dr. King and so many others in the fight for Civil Rights,”

— Kenneth E. Gulley, Mayor of Bessemer

Please help us to educate the community on an important piece of civil rights history by donating to make this museum become a reality and not just a dream.