Dr. King’s final days in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "He wasn't feeling that well the night of the 3rd. He came over here with a slight fever," said former U.N. ambassador and civil rights leader Andrew Young.

Young was back in Memphis talking about a piece of history to which he will forever be connected -- the final days of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"We never wanted to think that this was his last speech," said Young.

On this day, April 3, 1968, Young said it was Dr. King's second trip here, and he was dismayed about what was going on with the treatment of Memphis sanitation workers.

No one could foreshadow what was about to transpire.

Or could they?

Perhaps Dr. King knew, hence the words that live in infamy.

"It was very clear that from the speech, he was prepared to move on up a little higher," said Young.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was also there for Dr. King's final days and hours.

At the historic Mason Temple, where Dr. King spoke, Jackson said a weary King almost didn't even come to the church, even though a throng of people were in the rain waiting.

"We got the pay phone, dialed the pay phone, called the pay phone and said 'Martin if you just come for a little while. They just want to see you,'" said Jackson.

Dr. King came and gave the speech of a lifetime.

"That was the night of the 3rd when he gave that mountaintop speech," said Jackson.

The next day Dr. King died on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

"To this day it is fresh. It hurts," said Jackson.

It's a piece of national history forever etched in Memphis.

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