MLK Jail Cell Tour


MLK Jail Cell TourOpening Date: Monday, February 20, 2020


Exhibit days: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays


Initial Hours of Operation: by appointment only


Interested members of the public or groups must call 205-731-2880 to gain access to the 7th floor exhibition.


In January of 2020, the Jefferson County Commission voted to preserve and memorialize the remaining jail cell from the old Jefferson County jail. Located on what is now the seventh floor of the Jefferson County Courthouse. Records provided by Sheriff Mark Pettway show that County deputies arrested Dr. Martin Luther King, his brother A. D. King and others on Oct. 30, 1967 when he landed in Birmingham. They were first taken to the County jail in Bessemer, then to the jail in Birmingham for failing to obtain a parade permit. It is believed to be the last time he was jailed before his assassination in April 1968.

While it’s not known exactly where in the old jail King was held, the County has preserved this small area. The rest of the floor was converted to storage and HVAC infrastructure in the 1990’s.