Wednesday 4/4/18 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination shooting death in Memphis of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
According to history-dot-com
it was just after 6 p.m. when "Dr. King was fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. He was 39 years old."
The day before, Reverend King gave his last sermon with some very chilling and prophetic words. "We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you."
Riots broke out in cities all over America after King's death with National Guard troops being deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets to pay tribute to King’s casket as it passed by in a wooden farm cart drawn by two mules en route to his funeral in Atlanta, Georgia.
James Earl Ray, an escaped convict, was later caught and charged with the murder. Ray stood before a Memphis judge in March 1969 and pleaded guilty to King’s murder in order to avoid the electric chair. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Ray changed his story 3 days later proclaiming his innocence, wanting a trial and claiming he was being set up. For 29 years Earl professed his innocence and requested the trial that never was granted.
Ray's story convinced Dr. King's family who spoke publicly in support, calling him innocent and speculating about an assassination conspiracy involving the U.S. government and military.
A memorial walk to commemorate Dr. King's life and accomplishments will take place Wednesday starting at 4:00pm at Grace of Christ Church located at 9 South Eighth Ave to the Millennium Plaza. to millennium plaza.