Saturday, September 12, 2009

1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. Assasination



Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated - On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is shot down while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray. Following the news of King's murder, racial violence breaks out in cities nationwide.

King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, owned by black businessman Walter Bailey (and named after his wife). King's close friend and colleague, Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, who was present at the assassination, told the House Select Committee on Assassinations that King and his entourage stayed in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often that it was known as the "King-Abernathy Suite."
According to biographer Taylor Branch, King's last words were to musician Ben Branch, who was scheduled to perform that night at an event King was going to attend: "Ben, make sure you play 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty."
At 6:01 p.m. on April 4, 1968, while he was standing on the motel's second floor balcony, King was struck by a single bullet fired from a rifle. The bullet travelled through the right side of his neck, smashing his throat and then going down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.
King was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital, where doctors opened his chest and performed manual heart massage. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. According to biographer Taylor Branch, King's autopsy revealed that though he was only 39 years old, he had the heart of a 60 year old man. Read the full story here.

Photos courtesy of wikipedia and pop-culture.us

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