MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Sidney Poitier says he was moved by his first visit to the National Civil Rights Museum.

``That experience today, for me, walking through the museum, enlightened me,'' the 74-year-old actor said Wednesday. ``I have always looked at my history as very special. I will from now henceforth look at my history as very, very special.''

The museum is the site of the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King was slain in 1968.

Poitier was in Memphis to receive the museum's annual Freedom Award. The other recipient of the award this year was former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias.