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.
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
Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot while he stood on the balcony of room 306 at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. He was in the city to support sanitation workers on strike for better pay and working conditions.Full Answer >
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was famous for leading the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. He advocated for African-Americans, women and veterans through non-violent means, including marches, sit-ins, public speeches and boycotts. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent leader of the civil rights movement in the United States. During the late 1950s through the late 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. organized protests, proposed legislation and spoke about injustice throughout the United States. He was assassinated in 1968.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 >