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National Parks Are Free Today to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Sean Neumann
National Parks Are Free Today to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Every national park in the country is free today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

“National parks throughout the country provide inspiration to reflect on issues that resonated with Dr. King, including freedom, human rights, and social justice,” National Park Service Acting Director David Vela said in a news release. “We remember his life and legacy through programs and outreach that elevate his dream of inclusiveness for all.”

Today is the first free day of the year at U.S. national parks, the National Park Service said. There are five free days planned for 2020.

The National Park Service also said there are special events planned at a number of national parks in honor of the revered American civil rights icon.

Some parks are sending volunteers out for litter pick-up events, while others are participating in community events. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, Georgia is hosting a group bingo game, for example.

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There are a number of national park sites with connection to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, where the civil rights leader was born; the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, where the activist marched for voting rights; and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 during the March on Washington.

National park admission fees typically range from $3 to $35. Other free days planned in 2020 include the first day of National Park Week on April 18, the National Park Service birthday on Aug. 25, National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26, and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.