Voices of King podcast debuts with journalist Earl Caldwell

The Lorraine Motel in Memphis when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Andrew Young, in the center of this famous photo, was among several witnesses pointing out to police where the fatal shot came from. (Joseph Louw / AP file)

Credit: AP

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The Lorraine Motel in Memphis when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Andrew Young, in the center of this famous photo, was among several witnesses pointing out to police where the fatal shot came from. (Joseph Louw / AP file)

Credit: AP

They say that “journalism is the first rough draft of history.”

Perhaps no one knows that better than Earl Caldwell.

On April 4, 1968, then a reporter for The New York Times, Caldwell was the only reporter to witness the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

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The funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. was one of Atlanta's defining moments. In a series of interviews with the AJC, those who knew King best reminisced on his final days. Former New York Times reporter Earl Caldwell remembered, "I said, 'What happened? What happened?' I turned around, then I could see. Dr. King is laying there on the balcony."

Credit: Pouya Dianat / AJC

The funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. was one of Atlanta's defining moments. In a series of interviews with the AJC, those who knew King best reminisced on his final days. Former New York Times reporter Earl Caldwell remembered, "I said, 'What happened? What happened?' I turned around, then I could see. Dr. King is laying there on the balcony."

Credit: Pouya Dianat / AJC

Combined ShapeCaption
The funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. was one of Atlanta's defining moments. In a series of interviews with the AJC, those who knew King best reminisced on his final days. Former New York Times reporter Earl Caldwell remembered, "I said, 'What happened? What happened?' I turned around, then I could see. Dr. King is laying there on the balcony."

Credit: Pouya Dianat / AJC

Credit: Pouya Dianat / AJC

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Unapologetically ATL mark the 54 anniversary of King’s murder, we open our podcast series, “The Voices of King,” with Caldwell’s first-hand account from that evening.

In 2008, on the 40th anniversary of King’s death, Caldwell was one of 13 people that The AJC sat down with to record their stories.

Starting Thursday, we will re-release these interviews as a 13-part podcast hosted by Multimedia Journalist Ryon Horne.

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Andrew Young, then the SCLC leader, and Martin Luther King Jr. at a press conference in 1967. Bob Dendy/AJC file

Andrew Young, then the SCLC leader, and Martin Luther King Jr. at a press conference in 1967. Bob Dendy/AJC file

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Andrew Young, then the SCLC leader, and Martin Luther King Jr. at a press conference in 1967. Bob Dendy/AJC file

Along with Caldwell, Andrew Young, Tyrone Brooks, Christine King Farris, Martin Luther King III, Xernona Clayton and Bernice King, and those who have left us — Juanita Abernathy, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Ralph David Abernathy III, Rep. John Lewis, the Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles, Kathryn Johnson — each gives us a glimpse, through their relationships with King, inside the making of history.

Each episode will be made available through the Unapologetically ATL newsletter, but you can also subscribe to “The Voices of King” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts so you never miss an episode.