Martin Luther King Jr. died after being shot by a sniper while at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968; the exact motivation of the assassin, James Earl Ray, remains a mystery. King was a major leader in the United States civil rights movement, and Ray is known to have held segregationist views. This made King a target for the unstable ex-convict.Continue Reading
Martin Luther King Jr. stood outside on the motel balcony before he was shot. King was in the city to participate in a march on behalf of the Memphis sanitation workers. He was on the balcony talking with members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the parking lot below.
The assassin fled to Canada and then to the United Kingdom. He was ultimately captured by British officials at London's Heathrow Airport and promptly extradited to the United States. Ray confessed to the King assassination on March 10, 1969, and received a life sentence of 99 years. Because Ray forewent a jury trial, he was ineligible for the death penalty.
Ray later recanted his confession and sought a retrial, claiming that King was murdered as part of a conspiracy. He was unsuccessful in his attempts and died in prison on April 23, 1998.Learn more about US History
Martin Luther King Jr. became famous due to his efforts and activism to end segregation of African-Americans in America, particularly in Southern states. King gained national attention after organizing boycotts in Montgomery, Ala., in response to the Rosa Parks incident.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King Jr., an African-American Baptist minister and social activist from Georgia, stood for peace, equality and justice, especially for African-Americans and the socially disadvantaged. He played an integral role in the American civil rights movement and is considered to be the driving force that brought about such legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963. The memorial is located in Washington, D.C.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi and Henry David Thoreau all advocated for civil disobedience through non-violent means. Also, each of these individuals was, at one time or another, imprisoned for his own non-violent civil disobedience.Full Answer >