April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated
– Editor’s Note:
On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his now infamous and stirring “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech at the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, the Mason Temple, in Memphis. King’s arrival had been delayed in Atlanta by a bomb threat to his Eastern Airlines flight 381, implied his coming death after his Memphis arrival in the prophetic last speech of his life, by saying the following:
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. 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. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Click here for the video.
King was fatally shot the next day at 6:01 p.m. Central Time, Thursday, April 4, 1968, and died at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m.
I was in 8th Grade living in Louisville, Ky. and being an hour ahead in Eastern Time, I had completed my homework and joined the family watching NBC’s popular Ironside T-V series, when the tragic news was broadcast by Chet Huntley of NBC News. Click here for that chilling video, opening this 50th anniversary tribute from NBC Nightly News, 4/4/18.
Remembering MLK 53 years after his tragic assassination
53 years ago today on April 4, 1968, America learned that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.” Click here for the interrupting CBS News Special Report by Dan Rather, followed by Walter Cronkite’s King Assassination Report on the CBS Evening News April 5, 1968.
That was the beginning of what I call the Year of Rage in America – 1968!
And King became one of my heroes.