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 The U.S. Civil Rights Movement  
 
Williams, Jackson, King, Abernathy

Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders (from left, Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King and Ralph Abernathy) on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968.

King went to Memphis in early April 1968 to lead a peaceful march in support of garbage workers. At age 39, he was already a Nobel Laureate and had won major victories in ending segregation, making civil rights a part of the legal fabric of the United States.

But his aides have said, looking back, that death was on his mind. King made a speech in Memphis that he had made many times before, but seemed more moved than at earlier times. He ended, “I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

King, while standing on the same motel balcony, was shot to death on April 4, 1968. (© AP Images)