On March 29, 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees. On April 3, King addressed a rally and delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address at Mason Temple. King’s flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat against his plane.
King was fatally shot by James Earl Ray at 6:00 p.m., April 4, 1968, as he stood on the Lorraine motel’s second-floor balcony. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. After emergency chest surgery, King died at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m.
Featured Image: Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel / Image: by Photographer Charles Kelly/ AP