The Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, has had a long, uneven history. When the motel first opened in the 1920s, it was called “The Windsor.”
In that era of Jim Crow segregation, it was one of the few hotels that welcomed black travelers. Entertainers like Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, and Louis Armstrong stayed at the Windsor and walked the few blocks to Beale Street. Walter Bailey bought the Windsor in 1942, and renamed it the Lorraine.