Shortly after 6 p.m. on April, 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. Wednesday, April 4, 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination. In the months leading up to his death King became more concerned with the issue of inequality in America and in March of 1968 King traveled to Memphis in support of African-American sanitation workers. After leading a workers’ protest march on March 28 he left Memphis but vowed to return in early April to lead a demonstration.
This is how the morning newspapers in London headlined the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, April 5, 1968. (AP Photo) Family members and friends of the assassinated civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., follow his casket into an Atlanta funeral home after the body arrived from Memphis, on April 5, 1968. From left are: King's brother, the Rev. A.D. Williams King; Dr. Ralph Abernathy, King's close associate and new head of the SCLC, Coretta Scott King, the widow, and her two sons, Martin Luther III, 10, and Dexter, 7. (AP Photo/Bill hudson) An unidentified woman weeps at the R.S. Lewis funeral home in Memphis, Tenn., as hundreds of mourners filed past the body of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 5, 1968, before it was to be sent to Atlanta for burial. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly) Ebenezer Baptist Church where people came in great numbers to pay respects to a fallen leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 8, 1968 in Atlanta, Ga.. (AP Photo) A Washington policeman, his hand near his gun, leads away a looter after arresting him near 7th and K Sts. in northwest Washington, D.C. on April 6, 1968. A U.S. Army trooper stands at right. Rioting broke out after the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4. (AP Photo) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is seen here with Rev. Jesse Jackson, left, just prior to his final public appearance to address striking Memphis sanitation workers on April 4, 1968. King was assassinated later that day outside his motel room. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly) The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., on April 3, 1968, a day before he was assassinated at approximately the same place. From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King, and Ralph Abernathy. The 39-year-old Nobel Laureate was the proponent of non-violence in the 1960's American civil rights movement. King is honored with a national U.S. holiday celebrated in January. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly) Two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., buildings smoulder after arsonists and looters rioted in Chicago, Ill, on April 6, 1968. (AP Photo) In this April 6, 1968, file photo, a pedestrian is waved away from a area by a gas-masked National Guard soldier guarding an area near 7th and K Streets in northwest Washington, as rioting continues in the city after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., on Memphis, on April 4. Their bayoneted rifles are sheathed. (AP Photo/Bob Schutz, File) In this April 8, 1968, file photo, soldiers stand guard at 7th and N Streets in northwest Washington, with the ruins of buildings that were destroyed during the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress via AP) A policeman climbs over a protective screen and through the shattered glass front of a liquor store on 14th Street on April 12, 1968 following a night of violence in the area. The series of disturbances followed the assassination in Memphis of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1968. [Times | (1968)] Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his demonstrators stream over an Alabama River bridge at the city limits of Selma, Ala., March 10, 1965, during a voter rights march. They were stopped and turned back a short time later. A federal judge had banned the march. (AP Photo/File) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington D.C. in this Aug. 28, 1963. (AP Photo/ File)
Several theories have emerged since King’s death which ultimately pointed to the conclusion that James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King. Ray died in 1998.
This view shows the window in Memphis, Tenn. on April 5, 1968 from which, police say, a man fired a gun fatally wounding civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (AP Photo/File)