Locals take in civil rights landmarks ahead of MLK 50

Locals take in civil rights landmarks ahead of MLK 50

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 6:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- A lot of Carolinians came to Washington D.C. for Saturday's 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and stayed for the tourism. 

"I hoped to see the brotherhood-- seeing everyone coming together," said John Regner of Jacksonville, North Carolina.

He and his family visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Monday morning.

"Now living in Charleston, it's just an amazing thing to see," said Julia Regner, his sister.

Angela Smith drove up from Charlotte on Friday and is using the week to enjoy all the Civil Rights Tourism features that Washington has to offer.

"When you come out and see there are people from all walks of life and they come from all over the world to celebrate, I think it's wonderful," she said.

One of the sights getting a lot of traffic is the home of the father of the Civil Rights Movement.

Frederick Douglass lived atop a hill with a clear view of Washington's skyline.

"Pretty much this is the Mecca-- starting point-- when you’re looking at civil rights," said Dr Ka'mal McClain, the curator.

He's one of the few park rangers with a PhD, he can go into great detail about the Victorian mansion that was Douglass home in the 1800s.

"Fredrick Douglass was sort of the father of Civil Rights, and then you would take a trip over the Mary McLeod Bethune home getting that continuation along with Martin Luther King Memorial," he said.

Even smaller venues like the African American Civil War Museum are getting plenty of traffic McClain says touring the sites is a fun way to pick up some knowledge.

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