Civil Rights Leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on April 4, 1968 as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The shooting incident happened at 6 p.m. and Dr. King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Dr King was in Memphis to support the sanitation workers’ strike on April 3 and led a peaceful march.
A fugitive, James Earl Ray from the Missouri State Penitentiary was captured and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Ray died in prison on April 23, 1998, at the age of 70. Ray, years later tried to recant his guilty plea but was unsuccesful.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson said “America is shocked and saddened by the brutal slaying tonight of Dr. Martin Luther King. I ask every citizen to reject the blind violence that has struck Dr. King who lived by non-violence.”
News broadcaster Walter Cronkite was almost done with his shift when he received word that Dr. King was assassinated. Watch the first announcement of Dr. King’s death here….