05-25-2020  8:26 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Martin Luther King Jr
The Skanner News
Published: 05 April 2020

On this day  52 years ago, April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot and killed while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

King, a Christian pastor and the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference became the most visible face of civil rights in America and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

He was committed to advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. 

At the time of his death King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign.  His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.

Suspected gunman James Earl Ray later pleaded guilty to assassinating King, then spent the rest of his life claiming he'd been the victim of a setup.

 

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