MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Fifty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the civil rights leaders family and admirers will mark the anniversary of his death with marches, speeches and quiet reflection today.
The commemorations stretch from his hometown of Atlanta to Memphis, where he died, and points beyond. Among the first events is a march led by the same sanitation workers union whose low pay King had come to protest when he was shot. Another event will kick off about the same time in Atlanta, where Kings daughter the Rev. Bernice A. King is moderating an awards ceremony in his honor.
The Memphis events are scheduled to feature Kings contemporaries, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, along with celebrities such as the rapper Common. In the evening, the Atlanta events culminate with a bell-ringing and wreath-laying at his crypt to mark the moment when he was gunned down on the balcony of the old Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. He was 39.