King Assassinated

April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King Jr. Dead at 39

Earlier this evening, King stood on the second floor balcony of Memphis, Tennessee's own Lorraine Motel with fellow associates when what seems to have been a sniper's bullet struck King in the neck. Emergency services rushed King to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

This assassination sent a wave of shock and distress throughout the country. Looting and rioting has been reported in over one hundred cities. President Lyndon B. Johnson is urging Americans to reflect upon Martin Luther King Jr. The President announces his hope that Americans will begin to act in a nonviolent manner as King wished for the world. Many Americans see King's assassination as a rejection of their vigorous pursuit of equality. King's murder, occurring after the murder of Malcolm X, has radicalized many African-American activists, fueling the growth of the Black Power movement and the Black Panther Party. King will remain the most widely known African-American leader of his era and the face of the civil rights movement.

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