50 Years Since the Assassination of MLK

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)

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)

On April 4, 2018, all eyes will turn to Memphis, Tennessee to remember the tragic event that occurred 50 years prior. Our nation’s greatest peacemaker was snatched from us by a sniper’s bullet.

It occurred at the Lorraine Motel, 450 Mulberry Street in Memphis, Tennessee, now, the location of the National Civil Rights Museum. That shot would reverberate throughout the world, and on April 4, 2018, the world remembers the event that occurred at approximately 6:01 p.m. CT. The National Civil Rights Museum wants to help the world reflect, but not linger on the past, but instead use that horrific event to propel us forward.

MLK50: Where Do We Go from Here? is the theme for the year-long commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination. This was the title of Dr. King’s final book as well as the title of the speech he delivered August 16, 1967 at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

In 2018, our desire is not simply to reflect and recount the history, but to connect the history to contemporary issues, this forward-looking theme is most appropriate for this commemoration. The sub-themes for the events will be poverty/economic equity, education, justice and nonviolence.