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  THIS MONTH IN GEORGIA'S

BLACK HISTORY

 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. April 3, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his prophetic "I Have Been to the Mountain Top" speech in Memphis, in which he said: "[L]ike anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I'm not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land.  I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.  So I'm happy tonight.  I'm not worried about anything.  I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

King was assassinated the following day.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. April 4, 1968

At age 39, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot by a sniper while he stood on the balcony of Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.  Reaction was immediate.  King had been in Memphis to help striking black sanitation workers in their labor dispute with the city.

In Atlanta, Mayor Ivan Allen saw a television news flash telling of King's shooting and called Coretta Scott King to express his sympathy and ask if there was anything he could do.  At the time, King was still alive, so she asked Allen to help her get to the airport to catch a plane to Memphis.  Allen arranged a police escort and he and his wife accompanied her to the airport.  Upon arriving, they received the news that King had just died. Allen and his wife returned home with Mrs. King and family members. There, she received a phone call of condolences from Pres. Lyndon Johnson.  Johnson then went on national television to express his sorrow and to appeal for calm: "We have been saddened. I ask every citizen to reject the blind violence that has struck Dr. King, who lived by nonviolence . . . .We can achieve nothing by lawlessness and divisiveness among the American people."  Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy said "Rev. King had a life dedicated to peace, justice, compassion, and nonviolence. It is up to us to fulfill his dream."  In Georgia, longtime King foe Gov. Lester Maddox had no public comment and refused to take reporters' questions.  Across America, however, reaction was immediate as many blacks expressed grief and outrage over King's assassination.  Singer James Brown went on national television to appeal for restraint, but rioting broke out in more than 100 cities across America, resulting in the deaths of 46 people.  In Atlanta that night, it was raining heavily, which helped spare the city from the violent demonstrations experienced elsewhere.

 

 

Funeral of MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. April 9, 1968

The funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr. was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Around 100,000 people came for the service, though the church would only hold 800.  After the funeral, a mule drawn wagon carried King's body through Atlanta's streets to Morehouse College followed by up to 200,000 mourners.

 

 

 

JAMES BROWN records “Please, Please, Please” April, 1956

James Brown's "Please, Please, Please" became his first recording to enter the R&B chart of top hits.

 

 

JACKIE ROBINSON April 15, 1947

Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play major league baseball. In the game, he went hitless as his Brooklyn

Dodgers took on the Boston Braves. Nevertheless, Robinson got on base due to a Braves' error and scored the winning run in a 5-3 Dodger win.

 

    

 

 

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