AP Was There: The Assassination Of Martin Luther King, Jr. We Remember The Life Of The Civil Rights Leader

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — In the spring of 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had won victories on desegregation and voting rights and had been planning his Poor People’s Campaign when he turned his attention to Memphis, the gritty city by the Mississippi River. In his support for striking sanitation workers, King wanted to lead marches and show that nonviolent protest still worked.

But on April 4, at the city’s Lorraine Motel, he would be fatally shot.

Here are three stories from The Associated Press coverage of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.


By Doug Stone

MEMPHIS, TENN., APRIL 4 (AP)_Nobel Laureate Martin Luther King Jr., father of nonviolence in the American civil rights movement, was killed by an assassin’s bullet Thursday night.

King, 39, was hit in the neck by a bullet as he stood on the balcony of a motel here. He died less than an hour later in St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Gov. Buford Ellington immediately ordered 4,000 National Guard troops back into the city. A curfew, which was clamped on Memphis after a Kingled march turned into a riot a week ago, was reimposed.

Police said incidents of violence, including several firebombings, were reported following King’s death.

The 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner was standing on the balcony of his motel here, where he had come to lead protests in behalf of the city’s 1,300 striking garbage workers, most of them Negroes, when he was shot.

Two unidentified men who were arrested were released several hours later.

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