NEWS

Travelogue: See a vital part of American history in Atlanta

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

America the Beautiful

Quick guide to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday (Jan. 15) and Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21), we’re focusing on the national park in Atlanta.

Why go: The park is a monument to one of the greatest heroes in American history, and home to a wealth of information about the civil rights movement.

What's there: The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site consists of several buildings surrounding King's boyhood home on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta. Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where King and his father, Martin Luther King Sr., pastored, is also part of the national historic site.

What else: The Visitor Center, which contains a museum that chronicles the American Civil Rights Movement; a firehouse (Fire Station No. 6) that contains a gift shop and an exhibit on desegregation in the Atlanta Fire Department; the historic King Center, founded by Coretta Scott King after MLK’s assassination, which also contains the tombs of King and his wife; the “I Have a Dream” International World Peace Rose Garden; a memorial tribute to Mohandas K. Gandhi; and the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. Special events are held on and around MLK Day every year at the site. (Remembrances also are held during Black History Month and on the anniversary of King's April 4, 1968, assassination.)

Hours: 9-5 daily. From mid-June to mid-August, it’s open from 9-6.

Cost: Admission and parking are free. To tour King’s birth home, you need to register at the Visitor Center Information Desk.

Getting there: The park is about 15 minutes away by vehicle from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The address is 450 Auburn Avenue NE.

More information:

- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: http://www.nps.gov/malu

- Ebeneezer Church: http://www.historicebenezer.org

- King Center: http://www.thekingcenter.org

- Wikipedia page on the Historic Site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King%2C_Jr._National_Historic_Site

- Virtual tour of MLK’s birth home: http://www.nps.gov/archive/malu/BirthHomeTour/mlk_welcome.html

- Sources: www.nps.gov/malu and wikipedia.org.

Airport Adventures

What do you do about foxes that run on to airport runways and cause costly delays? Hire an eagle, of course.

An airport in Bari, Italy, recently purchased a $15,000 golden eagle named Cheyenne to patrol the runway, BBC reported. After previous attempts to get rid of the foxes proved unsuccessful, the airport operator commissioned the eagle, whose main job will be to scare the foxes so that they leave the grounds (and snack on the foxes if they don’t leave).

The raptor – once the symbol of Roman legions – is 6 months old, has a wingspan of 6 feet and can lift about 40 pounds.

Number to Know: 16

Percent rise in ticket sales in 2007 on the high-speed train line between London and Paris. News reports said ticket sales totaled $1.2 billion for the line operated by Eurostar, and that 8.26 million people used the service.

Deal of the Week

William Shatner and Priceline.com are offering discounts of up to 75 percent on select cruises, plus hotel credits that you can use before or after the cruise. The offer ends Jan. 31. Call 800-735-8000 or go online to www.priceline.com for more information.

Talk Like a Local

How to say hello and goodbye when in France:

Hello (formal): Bonjour (bohng-ZHOOR)

Hello (informal): Salut (sah-LUU)

Goodbye (formal): Au revoir (oh RVWAHR)

Goodbye (informal): Salut (sah-LUU)

Good to Know

France imposed new anti-smoking laws as of Jan. 1. Smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants, cafes, bistros, brasseries, casinos, bars and nightclubs. Violators face stiff fines if they are caught lighting up. –- Source: Wikitravel.org

Fun Fact

Portland, Ore. -- which was incorporated in 1851 –- was almost called Boston, Ore. The town’s two developers both wanted to name the new city after their hometown -- Boston and Portland, Maine -- so they flipped a coin over it. -– Source: Wikipedia

Travel Tip

If you have special needs and are planning to fly, make sure you know your rights at the airport. Here are some of the items permitted through the security checkpoint by the Transportation Security Administration:

Wheelchairs

Scooters

Crutches

Canes

Walkers

Prosthetic devices

Support appliances

Service animals

Orthopedic shoes

Exterior medical devices

Assistive/adaptive equipment

Augmentation devices

Tools for wheelchair disassembly/reassembly

Personal supplemental oxygen

CO2 personal oxygen concentrators

All diabetes related medication, equipment and supplies

For more information, contact the TSA at 866-289-9673. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, you can contact the TSA’s Office of Civil Rights at 877-336-4872.

GateHouse News Service