segunda-feira, abril 04, 2016

todayinhistory: April 4th 1968: Martin Luther King Jr....


Martin Luther King Jr (1929 - 1968)

King at the March on Washington

King at the Memphis hotel where he would soon be killed


April 4th 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. killed

On this day in 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee aged 39. The Baptist minister from Georgia first came to national attention for his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. This event is considered by many to be the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, which saw a national fight against the systemic discrimination endured by African-Americans. King was one of the movement’s many leaders, but became the public face of the cause for his policy of nonviolence and his powerful oratory. In 1963, during the March on Washington, King delivered the crowning speech of the struggle - the ‘I have a dream’ speech. Beyond his role in combating racial inequality, King also focused on tackling poverty and advocating peace, especially during the Vietnam War. On April 4th 1968, King was shot and killed by James Earl Ray. He lived to see the legislative achievements of the movement - the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act - but tragically was unable to continue the push for full equality. The movement King set in motion continues to be fought today, and systemic racism persists as a pressing issue in the United States.

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.”
- King’s final speech, given the day before his assassination

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