The Assassination of Martin Luther King, 1968

On 4th April, in 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, Martin Luther King was assassinated while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel.

The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital.

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Not published in LIFE. Theatrice Bailey attempts to clean blood from the balcony, hours after the 6 PM shooting of Dr. King. "I don't know if there were official people around taking notes and pictures and things like that," Groskinsky told "Nobody was there when we were there. But the fact that the blood was still on the floor, and this man was actually putting it in a jar ... well, when you see a picture like that, God, it feels invasive."

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