MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thursday marks the 51st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s assassination.
He was 39 years old when he 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.
The 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner had come to the city to lead protests in behalf of the city’s 1,300 striking garbage workers when he was shot.
By 1968, Dr. King had already become one of the world’s most well-known figures. He helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus.
He famously delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during the 1963 March on Washington, calling for equality among the races.
He pushed for federal civil rights legislation that was eventually enacted. King’s example, and his insistence on nonviolent protest, continues to influence many activists pushing for civil rights and social change.
Now 51 years later, the city of Memphis and the National Civil Rights Museum will honor his legacy with events planned throughout the day. There will be hands-on activities all day for children and families.
Then, from 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. the museum will host the April 4th Commemoration. Speakers include Dr. Omid Safi, Rev. James Lawson and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
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