Nearly a month into America’s government shutdown, the Delta Air Lines Foundation has provided a grant to re-open Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park.
The park will be open from 19 January to 3 February, through the anniversary of King’s 90th birthday.
Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines chief executive officer, said he hopes people traveling to Atlanta for the Super Bowl will take time to visit the park.
“Upon learning that the #governmentshutdown meant Dr. King’s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 6 and the visitor center would be closed during the national holiday, we knew we had to take action,” Bastian said in a LinkedIn post.
“These historic landmarks represent the strength of our community and should always be made available for the public to enjoy. I’m honored and humbled that Delta Air Lines will continue supporting Dr. King’s legacy by funding the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, allowing these sites to be open January 19 through February 3. For everyone visiting Atlanta for the big game, I highly recommend touring these inspiring sites.”
Delta’s $83,500 grant will cover clean up, administration, maintenance employee operating costs that have gone unfunded during the government shutdown.
“It is not possible to overstate our appreciation to The Delta Air Lines Foundation for ensuring the Martin Luther King, Jr. sites are accessible to the American people as we honor Dr. King on the 90th anniversary of his birth,” said Acting Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt. “This is yet another example of private organizations stepping up to ensure that our visitors from across the nation and around the world are able to have a meaningful experience at national parks.”
Delta is headquartered in Atlanta, and the park is in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Historic District. The Super Bowl will be held in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on 3 February.