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April 05 2017

Operation HOPE inspires installation of Historical Marker honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Flight at Memphis International Airport

ATLANTA – April 4, 2017 – Global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE, Inc. has inspired the installation of a historical marker to honor the final flight of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis on April 3, 1968. On April 3, 2017, 49 years to the day that Eastern Flight 381 arrived from Atlanta, the organization, civil rights icons Jesse Jackson and Ambassador Andrew Young, and local government and community leadership, including Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, participated in the unveiling event of the marker in the Memphis International Airport’s B Ticketing lobby.

“I think these details matter,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant. “Life lives in the details.”

The marker was unveiled along with Ernest Withers’ photographs of the arrival and many additional never before seen photos in the city over the years.

King came to Memphis to advocate on behalf of striking sanitation workers. He was fatally shot the next day while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The historical marker was funded by First Tennessee Bank and approved by the Tennessee Historical Commission.

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About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. Through its core programs, the nonprofit has provided financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.6 million individuals worldwide, and $2 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers.  Project 5117 is HOPE’s multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth, and stabilize the American dream by boosting credit scores. Operation HOPE recently received its second consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator—further establishing it as a best-in-class organization. 

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