Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE

Commemorative Day

Family Event | Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, January 16

Commemorate the enduring legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at our annual family-friendly event. Join us as we reflect on his life and work—particularly in Chicago such as the Chicago Freedom Movement—through special family-friendly activities and performances for all ages.

As with all our Commemorative Days, the day’s activities are designed to honor and celebrate significant moments and figures in history. We strive to lift up Dr. King’s accomplishments to all community members in Chicago and its surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing you!

This event is FREE with Museum admission, which is complimentary for Illinois residents on this day. Reservations are appreciated but not required.


10:30–11:00 a.m. – Opening Ceremony

Join us as we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and connect with each other through group meditation led by Rita J from Oh So Medicinal, an apothecary on Chicago’s West Side.

1st floor, Guild Room


11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. – Freedom Sing-Along with Lenny Marsh and Friends  

Music has always been used by people in protest to unite together in one message. Connect with your follow Chicagoans through songs of Freedom led by Lenny Marsh and company.

1st floor, Guild Room


11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. – Community Fair 

North Lawndale was where Dr. King called home when he lived here in Chicago. Come and learn about the history of North Lawndale from our Collections staff. You can also learn about ways residents of North Lawndale are continuing Dr. King’s legacy and enjoy a set of Freedom Sounds from DJ Sadie Woods from 12–1 p.m. Featured organizations include: Open Books Chicago, The North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society, Oh So Medicinal, and Poems While You Wait.

2nd floor, Morse Genius Chicago Room


11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. – Activity Station

Join Museum staff for a conversation and art-making activity. Think about the ways your actions help shape the world around you and pick up a Kindness Challenge to take with you during your week.

2nd floor, Chicago: Crossroads of America, behind the L car


1:00–2:45 p.m. – King in Chicago Screening

Join us for a showing of the 2008 documentary King in Chicago. It will be followed by a chance to chat with scholars further about King and the work he did in Chicago.

1st floor, McCormick Theater


While masks are appreciated and recommended, they are no longer required. Learn more about our COVID-19 safety policies and procedures.

Anti-Willis demonstrators, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., march from Grant Park to City Hall, Chicago,
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stands next to Albert Raby at a speakers podium during a march from Buckingham Fountain to City Hall to demonstrate for quality integrated education, Chicago, July 26, 1965. ST-10104095-0028, Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM
Civil rights leaders Albert Raby, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Edwin C. Berry, and others leading thousands of marchers from Buckingham Fountain to City Hall to demonstrate for quality integrated education, Chicago, July 26, 1965. ST-10104095-0027, Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at the National Insurance Association convention at the Sheraton-Chicago Hotel, Chicago, Aug. 21, 1963. ST-17600521, Chicago Sun-Times Collection, CHM

The Details



16 th

10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum 

1601 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614

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