The assassination of dr martin luther king jr
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The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. . By: Shayne Ruse. King’s early life. Born on January 15 th 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia He was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin . attended segregated public schools in Georgia,

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The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Shayne Ruse

King’s early life

  • Born on January 15th 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia

  • He was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin.

  • attended segregated public schools in Georgia,

  • graduating from high school at the age of fifteen

  • grew up in the church and was well-read in the scripture.

  • Followed family tradition and wanted to be a minister


  • Father: Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.

  • Mother: Alberta Williams King

  • Grandparents: Adam Daniel Williams and Jenny Parks Williams

  • Wife: Coretta Scott

    Together they had 4 children

    1.Yolanda Denise 2.Martin Luther III

    3.Dexter Scott 4.Bernice Albertine


  • Graduated High School at age 15

  • First he entered Morehouse College at the age of 15 and graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. (19)

  • Then he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania where he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1951.(22)

  • He received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Boston University on June 5, 1955. (25)

Religious service

  • Father and Grandfather were both Ministers

  • King began his ministry in 1954 as the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

  • Religious tries strongly connected him to his ideal of non-violent protest.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand for her race by refusing to give her seat to a white person. (According to the books)

  • in December 1955 he along with NAACP led a 382-day boycott of Montgomery’s segregated public bus system.

  • On December 21, 1956, the Supreme Court had declared the laws requiring segregation on buses unconstitutional

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

  • Formed in 1957, with MLK as it’s leader

  • MLK gave over 2,500 times. About 250 a year.

  • Made many movements in many different cities.

  • Cities such as Albany, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama were he was arrested.

  • It was at this time that he wrote “The letter from Birmingham Jail.

March on Washington

  • August 28, 1963

  • Dr. King represented the SCLC.

  • Dr. King delivered his most famous speech, from the steps of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial.


    ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal’ … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Nobel Peace Prize

  • Time magazine selected Martin Luther King, Jr., as its Man of the Year for 1963.

  • Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm, Sweden, awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • The reward of over $54,000, he donated to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

MLK Assassination

MLK Assassination

  • On March 29, 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees.

  • He got there late because his plane had a bomb threat scare.

  • King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey, in Memphis, he roomed with Ralph Abernathy (leader of American Civil Rights Movement)

MLK Assassination

  • at 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, a shot rang out as King stood on the motel's second-floor balcony

  • The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.

  • Abernathy heard the shot from inside the motel room and ran to the balcony to find MLK on the floor.

MLK Assassination

  • King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital at 7:05 p.m.

  • His last words were to Ben Branch. He was scheduled to perform that night at an event King was attending: "Ben, make sure you play 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.“


  • Nationwide race riots in Washington D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Louisville, Kansas City, and dozens of other cities.

  • Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy gave a short speech asking people to keep Dr. Kings ideal of non-violent protests.

  • President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7 a national day for mourning MLK.

  • Personal friend MahaliaJackson sang 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' at MLK’s funeral.

James Earl Ray

  • Two months after King's death, escaped convict James Earl Ray was captured at London Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom on a false Canadian passport in the name of Ramon George Sneyd.

  • He was extradited to Tennessee and charged with King's murder.

  • He confessed on March 10, 1969, though he denied the confession three days later.

James Earl Ray

  • Ray much like Oswald said that he was a patsy.

  • Ray had been convicted of burglary and theft. However he was never charged with using a weapon.

  • Ray (from the advice of his attorney) took a guilty plea to avoid the death sentence.

    Ray was sentenced to a 99-year

    prison term.

James Earl Ray

  • In 1997, King's son Dexter Scott King met with Ray, and helped Ray's efforts to obtain a new trial.

  • The King family strongly believes that James Earl Ray had nothing to do with the assassination.

  • Dr. William Pepper represented Ray and the King family.

Conspiracy Theories

The Memphis Bar Man

  • Lloyd Jowers

  • he was a Memphis bar owner ran Jim's Grill, located across the street from the Lorraine Motel.

  • He claimed in 1993 that a Memphis dealer, Frank Libertogave him $100,000 to hire a hit man to murder King—and the killer he hired wasn't Ray.

Government Conspiracy

  • Ray was set up by the U.S. government, who had hired a Mafia hit man to kill King.

  • Team of green beret snipers were close, to finish the job if the hit man missed.

  • commando in charge of the Green Beret snipers, Billy Eidson, was killed shortly after as a way to keep the plot a secret.

  • Dexter King publicly stated that he felt the government and LBJ were directly involved in his fathers death.


Works Cited






Works Cited








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