mlkassasination Kappy
McLean High School  
 
The Assasination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

          Now, the man has a national holiday on his birthday, when his life and achievements are fondly remembered. Then, however, Martin Luther King, Jr. had a fair share of enemies.  He lived in a time of prejudice and racism, and died because of it. It was on April 4, 1968 that Martin Luther King, Jr., the preacher, the father, the non-violent activist, was assassinated. He was standing out on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, when James Earl Ray fired the bullet that ended his life. King’s death is just another example showing that there was no racial harmony during his lifetime, and that many people resented his peaceful and open-minded ways.
         At 39 years of age, King had many accomplishments under his belt. He was raised in a religious family, his grandfather being a Baptist preacher and his father a pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. King himself was known as an "eloquent Baptist minister". He was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement that occurred throughout the mid-1950s. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his efforts at achieving peace without violence.
         It was at a seminary that King was introduced to the ways of the non-violent activist, Mohandas Ghandi. Later, on a trip to India in 1959, he met with other followers of Ghandi. King quickly decided that non-violent protest was the best way to fight the unjust things in the world, and used this as his strongest weapon for later protests.
         One of King’s most famous actions was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This was initially ignited by Rosa Parks, who was exhausted one day and therefore sat in a seat designated for white people. When a white person came and told the bus driver to get them a seat, the driver asked Parks to move. She didn’t argue over the topic, but she also refused to move, and was arrested. Although this type of instance had happened before, Parks was very well known throughout the community, as she was once the secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples. On hearing about her arrest, King, who was, at the time, a pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, met with other community leaders. People flocked to King’s church later that week as he announced that the only way to gain rights for black people was to boycott the bus company.
         King and several others went on trial for intentionally trying to "obstruct the operation of a business", and were found guilty. The case, and the boycott, dragged on, and eventually King won equal rights for black and white passengers on public buses.
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Last updated  2008/09/28 07:10:01 PDTHits  124