The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
On the 4th of April 1968, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 pm in St. Joseph’s Hospital. James Earl Ray was accused of the crime and arrested. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in 1998 at the age of 70 in Tennessee State Penitentiary.
Dr. King’s family however believes that the United States government was responsible for his assassination. After the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963, MLK told his wife Coretta that he was convinced the same things was going to happen to him. He believed the society was sick and capable of this act. He also believed that the civil rights movement would continue after his death.
He received a lot of death threats and survived other assassination attempts before the one that eventually took his life. A single-.30-06 bullet fired from a Remington Model 760 killed Dr. King. The bullet pierced through his right cheek, breaking his jaw as it travelled down his spinal cord, severing major arteries in the process.
His assassination sparked riots across America. On the 8th of April 1968, his wife and 4 children led a silent march across the streets of Memphis in his honour. Over 40,000 people participated in this march. The president of the US at the time, Lyndon B. Johnson, declared the 7th of April, national day of mourning. Over 30,000 people attended his funeral on the 9th of April.