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Tom Leatherwood
 
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Lorraine Motel

Originally the Windsor Hotel (c.1925) and later one of only a few hotels for blacks, it hosted such entertainers as Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, B.B. King, and Nat King Cole. Walter and Loree Bailey bought it in 1942, renaming it the Lorraine. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 on April 4, 1968, making it a symbol for the civil rights movement. In 1982 a local nonprofit group saved the site from foreclosure for use as America's first civil rights museum.