Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He was 39 years old when he was shot to death at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.
King was a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was known for his use of nonviolence and civil disobedience to fight segregation and achieve significant civil-rights advances for African Americans.
Shock and outrage over the news of King’s death sparked rioting in many cities around the country, followed by a wave of national mourning for King that lead to the passing of his Fair Housing Act which was a major piece of civil rights legislation.
King has remained the most widely known African-American leader of his era, and the most public face of the Civil Rights Movement.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” —Martin Luther King Jr.