The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park officially reopened Saturday, in time for the holiday weekend honoring the slain civil rights leader.
The park, which is run by the National Park Service, had been closed because of the partial federal government shutdown that began Dec. 22. The shutdown remained ongoing Saturday, but the park was able to reopen thanks to a $83,500 grant from Delta Air Lines.
The grant is enough to keep the park open through Feb. 3 — when Atlanta will host the Super Bowl.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the company “felt it was important we do our part to ensure that the historical landmarks be accessible to the public.”
Atlantan Debbie Snow visited the MLK site Saturday morning. She told Channel 2 Action News that she was glad folks in town for the Super Bowl — of which there are expected to be hundreds of thousands — will be able to do the same.
“That would spoil a lot of people’s trip if they couldn’t come,” Snow said.
Sites able to reopen because of Delta’s grant include the home where Martin Luther King Jr. was born; the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was co-pastor; the park’s visitor center; and historic First Station No. 6.
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