Our Opinion: April 4, 1968 will always remain an important part of U.S. history

Published 7:20 am Tuesday, April 5, 2022

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The date April 4, 1968 will always remain an important piece of American history.

Fifty four years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King was fatally shot standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

The day before his untimely death, King gave his last sermon, saying, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop … And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

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We all know what happened after that; riots broke out in cities across America leading up to King’s funeral in Atlanta on April 9.

Escaped convict James Earl Ray was arrested in June 1968 and pleaded guilty to King’s murder. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Ray, who died in 1998, spent the rest of his life claiming he’d been the victim of a setup. His  claims were denied by the U.S. Government.

We should honor this day every year, not wait until it turns 55, 60 or 65.