Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King

4 April 1968

Dr. Martin Luther King


  • Intro

    Martin Luther King (1929-1968) was a leading force in the US Civil Rights movement during the late 1950s and 60s . An active supporter of non-violent protest, King believed that peaceful ‘direct-action,’ such as marches, boycotts and sit-ins, was the most powerful way to combat the racism long engrained in U.S culture. African Americans, particularly in the Southern American states, faced widespread discrimination in numerous aspects of social and political life.


    King’s charismatic leadership was an essential component in the rising strength of the civil rights movement. The activism he inspired led to the passing of the1964 Civil Rights Bill which made segregation illegal. In the same year, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But his anti-violent strategy was strongly opposed by more radical African-American groups such as the Black Panthers. In April 1968 King was shot dead while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis.


    Image Copyright: John Frost Newspaper Archive


    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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