Culture Re-View: Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated - A life in pictures

MLK addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream," speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 28, 1963.
MLK addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream," speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 28, 1963. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Jonny Walfisz
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On this day in 1968, the US preacher, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot. His life and legacy is remembered here in pictures.


4 April 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated

It would be impossible to summarise the influence and power of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s life in this short daily column. The civil rights leader was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia in a racially segregated USA.

Taking inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent protests, King led civil rights protests across America, rising to prominence for his role in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott when Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white woman.

King was the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an African-American civil rights organisation. Through the SCLC, King led more protests and became a national figurehead for the civil rights movement. His role in organising protests in Alabama, a Washington march and the Selma marches, were all crucial moments in the process of the US legislating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

A controversial figure among white America, he was jailed multiple times and was the subject of national surveillance by the FBI, NSA and CIA on orders of multiple US presidents. On this day in 1968, King was fatally shot, aged 39. 

MLK speaks at the Holt Street Baptist Church during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956GENE HERRICK/1955 AP
Gene Herrick/1956 AP
MLK is welcomed with a kiss by his wife, Coretta, after leaving court in Montgomery, Ala.Gene Herrick/1956 AP
Ray Howard/AP1958
New York Governor Averell Harriman, left, talks with MLK and his wife Coretta King in Harlem Hospital, New York, Sept. 22, 1958 after an assassination attempt.Ray Howard/AP1958
Rangaswamy Satakopan/AP
MLK and his wife Coretta, both wearing garlands, are received by admirers after landing at the airport in New Delhi, India, Feb. 10, 1959.Rangaswamy Satakopan/AP
MLKis given a kiss by his wife Coretta as he is welcomed back from Georgia’s Reidsville State Prison by demonstrators and family gathered on Oct. 27, 1960.uncredited/AP
AP/1963 AP
MLK leads demonstrators as they attempt to march on Birmingham, Ala., city hall in 1963AP/1963 AP
MLK delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. on 28 April 1963Uncredited/AP
AP/1963 AP
This general view shows civil rights demonstrators gathered at the Washington Monument grounds before noon on Aug. 28, 1963.AP/1963 AP
MLK with President Lyndon B. Johnson as he signs the 1964 Civil Rights BillAP/AP1964
Horace Cort/AP1965
MLK heads a column of about 200 African Americans in a four-block march to the courthouse spearheading a voter registration drive in Montgomery, Alabama, March 17, 1965.Horace Cort/AP1965
MLK speaks to reporters as he leads the 220 mile Memphis to Jackson march started by James Meredith, in a rural part of Mississippi, June 13, 1966.AP/AP
Ernest K. Bennett/AP1968
Scene at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, California, April 5, 1968 as a memorial service was held in memory of MLKErnest K. Bennett/AP1968

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a life in pictures.

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