Forty years later the memory remains strong.
April 4, 2008 marks the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In Memphis, Tennessee to participate in a march of striking Memphis sanitation workers as part of his Poor People’s Campaign, Dr. King was shot as he stood on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel. His death led to riots in over 100 cities throughout the United States and to a deeply-felt loss for the civil rights movement.
Just four days after the tragedy, CBC member Congressman John Conyers, Jr. introduced legislation to honor the slain civil rights leader through the creation of a national holiday. “I thought long and hard about what would be the most appropriate way to commemorate this extraordinary man’s life and work and decided a public holiday would be the best thing we could do,” said Rep. Conyers in a recent panel co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Avoice Virtual Library and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.
View Dr. King’s contributions to the civil rights movement and the long struggle to establish a national holiday in his honor in an Avoice exhibit featuring photographs, original petitions, news articles, timelines and other historical resources.
Click here to visit the Avoice MLK Jr. Holiday Bill Exhibit