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Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Historical coverage of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement. Information about the Civil Rights Museum and MLK Day of Service. More
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April 10, 1968April 9, 1968April 9, 1968April 5, 1968Today is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The following newspaper pages ran in the days after his death. This page ran on April 5, 1968.April 7, 1968April 8, 1968April 6, 1968April 6, 1968April 8, 1968April 10, 1968On the 40th anniversary of his death, take a look back at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a powerful civil rights leader who changed the face of America, one step at a time.While in Boston, he met Coretta Scott. They married in 1953 and would eventually have four children: Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter and Bernice.And for King, the fight for equal rights was just beginning. The sixties would serve as a climax for his life's work. In February, King and 92 others were charged with violating Alabama's anti-boycott law.In 1955, as the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, King was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization that was responsible for the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1955 to 1956.King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 and from Boston University in 1955. By the late 1950s, King was leading a national movement for equality. His face had graced the cover of Time magazine, he had been to the White House and his words resounded nationally. But with that fame also came danger as numerous threats were made on his life, also endangering his family.King (left) seen here with (from left to right) E. Frederic Morrow, White House administrative officer; President Eisenhower; A. Phillip Randolph, AFL-CIO vice president; Attorney General William Rogers and Roy Wilkins, the executive secretary of the NAACP. King is greeted by his wife after leaving Montgomery Court. He was found guilty of conspiracy to boycott city buses but a judge suspended his $500 fine pending appeal.The group told Eisenhower that court-ordered suspension of school integration at Little Rock, Ark., "has shocked and outraged Negro citizens and millions of their fellow Americans."While the fight for desegregation, led by King, resulted in more than a dozen Southern cities stopping the practice of segregated seating, Montgomery continued its separate seating. King is seen here, leaving a Montgomery courthouse with Rev. Ralph David Abernathy. King's words fired up a generation to work, non-violently, towards integration and peace. A copy of his sermon, titled, 'Remember Who You Are,' written in 1956.It wasn't until December 1956, 381 days after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, that Montgomery's buses were finally desegregated. King rode the first bus after the boycott's end. Next to him is one of his white supporters, Rev. Glenn Smiley.In Sept. 1958, while at a book promotion and rally in Harlem, King was stabbed in the chest by a woman later said to be mentally deranged. His family immediately came to be with him. He's seen here recuperating with is mother (left) and wife (right).King's battle with the law continued. He was arrested thirty times for his participation in civil rights activities.  Here he is being charged with loitering in 1958.Today is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The following newspaper pages ran in the days after his death. This page ran on April 5, 1968.The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, left, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., center, and Bayard Rustin, leaders in the racial bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., leave the Montgomery County Courthouse on Feb. 24, 1956.  The civil rights leaders were arraigned along with 87 other black activists.  Thousands of supporters walked in protest against the mass indictments and arrests.  19 Jul 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, USA ---James Earl Ray, his head bowed, manacled and wearing what authorities describe as "safety equipment" is led to his cell by Shelby County Sheriff William Morris, upon the accused assassin's arrival here early today.  Ray is alleged to have slain civil rights leader, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968. --- Image by   Bettmann/CORBISThe balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tenn., April 6, 1968, with a memorial plaque and wreaths on Dr. King's balcony 2 days after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, April 4, 1968.  Striking Memphis sanitation workers, gathering for a new march Friday afternoon, March 29, 1968 clean the sidewalks and gutters near their meeting hall using placards printed for Thursday's march as scoops for debris in Memphis, Tenn.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is seen here with Rev. Jesse Jackson, left, just prior to his final public appearance to address striking Memphis sanitation workers on April 4, 1968.  King was assassinated later that day outside his motel room.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his last public appearance at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn., on April 3, 1968.  The following day King was assassinated on his motel balcony.  Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis is illuminated by a stream of afternoon light around 5:40 p.m. on March 23, 2008. The photo was taken at this time in the afternoon at that very spot Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by an assassin's bullet more than 40 years ago.Capitol Homes, the Atlanta housing project where James Earl Ray's car was found six days after Martin Luther King's assassination. Ray admitted to driving from Memphis to Atlanta on the night of the shooting and ditching his 1966 white Mustang at Capitol Homes. Residents later notified the police, but Ray had since left Atlanta on a bus and was in Canada by then. Nashville, Tenn.- On March 10th, 1969 James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Here he arrives at the Tennessee State Penitentiary under guard. Atlanta, Ga: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. funeral passes in front of Atlanta city hall near the Georgia state capitol building April 6, 1968.This 1968 file photo was taken minutes after an assassin's bullet struck Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968. According to the photographer, Joseph Louw, the men at right, several of Dr. King's aides, stand over King's body as they point out to police where they heard the shot.In this 1968 Atlanta Journal-Constitution photo by Noel Davis, Coretta Scott King sits with tears in her eyes at the funeral of her slain husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To her left sits Harry Belafonte. Images such as this illustrate how news photography has captured the most dramatic and moving moments in history and changed the way people view the world and current events. This photo, along with more than 100 others, was part of an exhibition of photographic moments in Atlanta history.Civil rights marchers stream across the Alabama River in this March 21, 1965, file photo on the first of a five-day, 50-mile march to the state capitol at Montgomery. Dr. Martin Luther King holds hands with his wife, Coretta Scott King, right foreground, during the march. Saturday, April 4, 1998, marks the 30th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination. ATLANTA, FULTON COUNTY - On the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination numerous visitors and observers filed past the crypt of Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King at the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Non-Violent Change on Auburn Avenue Friday April 4, 2008. The Civil Rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner was gunned down in Memphis in 1968.  Coretta Scott King is shown during funeral services for her late husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., April 9, 1968.  Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and her children, lower left, lead a march in Memphis, Tenn., in Dr. King's honor, April 8, 1968.  King, who had been in Memphis to lead this march in sympathy of striking sanitation workers, was assassinated last Thursday.  They are shown marching down Main Street in Memphis.  (AP Photo)Civl rights leader Bayard Rustin points while talking with William Lucy, left, a representative of municipal employees, as they organize a march in Memphis, Tenn., April 8, 1968, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated in Memphis last Thursday.  Others, left to right:  Jerry Wurf, glasses, international president of the Municipal Workers Union; T.O. Jones; May Reuther, wife of UAW union president Walter Reuther; Reuther.  Others are unidentified.  (AP PhotoMasses of people crowd the street in front of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, April 9, 1968, partially hiding the hearse parked in front of the door.  The hearse will take the body of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the church to Morehouse College for additional funeral services.  Thousands of mourners file into Sisters Chapel at Spelman College in Atlanta to pay final respects to slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lying in state, April 8, 1968.  Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday.Activity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange is halted at 11 o'clock in a minute of tribute to assassinated civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 5, 1968.  Both the New York and American exchanges stopped trading for a moment of silence.  Six men hang a sign in honor of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at an expressway bridge near King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference headquarters in Atlanta, April 8, 1968. Funeral services for King will be conducted Tuesday.  An unidentified man lifts Bernice King, 5, over her father's casket in Atlanta, April 7, 1968.  Her father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was slain by sniper fire in Memphis, Tenn., April 4.  Bernice's brothers, Martin III and Dexter, and her mother, Coretta Scott King, center, wearing hat,  also view the body.   Martin Luther King Jr., second from right, stands on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., on April 3, 1968, the day before he was assassinated there. From left are, Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King, and Ralph Abernathy. The casket bearing the body of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is taken up a loading ramp and placed aboard an airliner to his hometown Atlanta, Ga., on April 5, 1968, at the airport of Memphis, Tennessee. The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, King's closest associate and named to replace Dr. King as head of the SCLC, stands in the doorway of the plane. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  American civil rights leader, receives the Nobel Peace Prize from the hands of Gunnar Jahn, Chairman of the Nobel Committee, in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 1964. The 35-year-old Reverend King, the youngest man ever to receive the prize, is the 12th American and the third Black to be given the honor. An unidentified woman weeps uncontrollably at Memphis funeral home early Friday morning, April 5, 1968 as hundreds of mourners filed past the body of Dr. Martin Luther King before it was to be sent to Atlanta. AP Wire Photo.  A news reporter stands in the room rented by the assassin who shot Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Memphis, Tenn., April 5, 1968.  From an adjacent bathroom window, the assassin shot and killed the civil rights leader who was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4.  Magnolia leaves frame some of the thousands of mourners who lined up to view the body of slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Atlanta, April 7, 1968.  Two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., buildings smoulder after arsonists and looters rioted in Chicago, Ill, on April 6, 1968. A Washington policeman, his hand near his gun, leads away a looter after arresting him near 7th and K Sts. in northwest Washington, D.C. on April 6, 1968. A U.S. Army trooper stands at right. Rioting broke out after the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4. U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment from Fort Myers, Va., unload for duty near the west wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 1968.  The U.S. president has ordered federal troops to guard the White House during violence following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tenn., April 4. Troops, one with a machine gun, stand guard on the steps of the U.S. Senate wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., April 5, 1968.  Federal troops were called into the nation's capital by order of President Lyndon Johnson during a day of arson and looting following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tenn., April 4.  The flag is at half staff in tribute to the civil rights leader.  Crowds gather outside a funeral home as the casket holding the body of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is carried inside in Atlanta, Ga., April 5, 1968 The man standing at center, near rear door of hearse, is Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen; next to the mayor is Moneta Sleet Jr. When Mrs. Coretta Scott King learned that the pool of photographers covering the funeral did not include a black photographer, she sent word that if Mr. Sleet were not allowed in the church, there would be no photographers.This aerial view shows clouds of smoke rising from burning buildings in northeast Washington, D.C. on April 5, 1968. The fires resulted from rioting and demonstrations after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., right, speaks at a news conference in Chicago, Ill., Jan. 7, 1966.  King, the head of the Southern Leadership Conference, a civil rights organization, announced Chicago as the target of his first major effort in the North in his campaign to clean up slum neighborhoods.  Seated at left is Albert Raby, head of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations, also working for civil rights. A federal marshal reads a court order halting a planned voter registration protest march at Selma, Ala., March 9, 1965.  The order was read after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- standing behind fellow marcher Andrew Young who had his arms folded -- led about 2,000 persons from a church to a bridge over the Alabama River.  The marchers were allowed to continue over the bridge but then were turned back. The other civil rights activists standing with King and Young are not identified.  U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson reaches to shake hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after presenting the civil rights leader with one of the 72 pens used to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Washington, D.C., on July 2, 1964.  Surrounding the president, from left, are, Rep. Roland Libonati, D-Ill., Rep. Peter Rodino, D-N.J., Rev. King, Emanuel Celler, D-N.Y., and behind Celler is Whitney Young, executive director of the National Urban League. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Aug. 28, 1963. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, gestures during his "I Have a Dream" speech as he addresses thousands of civil rights supporters gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 1963.  Actor-singer Sammy Davis Jr. can be seen at extreme right, bottom.  During months of local anti-segregation campaigns led by the SCLC in Albany, Georgia, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested by Albany's Chief of Police, Laurie Pritchett, after praying at City Hall, on July 27, 1962.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, sit with three of their four children in their Atlanta, Ga, home, on March 17, 1963. From left are: Martin Luther King III, 5, Dexter Scott, 2, and Yolanda Denise, 7.The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., of Alabama, waves to the nearly 500 people waiting outside Harlem hospital in New York City on Oct. 3, 1958.  Dr. King was stabbed on Sept. 20.  (AP Photo)Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., seen with his wife, Coretta, is at a Harlem hospital in New York City during a news conference on Sept. 30, 1958.  The clergyman was stabbed near the heart by a woman who asked for his autograph in a Harlem department store on Sept. 20.  The nurse in the background is Louise Stone.This is a photo of Julian Bond and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. casting their ballots to fill Bond's vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 23, 1966.  Bond was refused his seat in congress because of his endorsement of a statement which charged the U.S. with committing aggression in Vietnam.  The organizers of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner: Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill, Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays, Catholic Archbishop Paul Hallinan and Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120ccc, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jacob M. Rothschild at the Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120lll, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr., Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill and Catholic Archbishop Paul Hallinan at the Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120g, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr. listens to Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays speak at the Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews,Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120iii, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks at his Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965.  LBSCB12-120mmm, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Morehouse College choir at Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120q, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King listen to Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. speak at King's Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965.  LBSCB12-120u, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King and Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. listen to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild speak at King's Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120dd, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120pp, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120aa, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr. greets guests at his Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews,Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965. LBSCB12-120l, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.Martin Luther King, Jr. shakes hands with Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. at his Nobel Peace Prize recognition dinner, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Dinkler Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, January 27, 1965.  LBSCB12-120d, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.