AHTV Blog

Martin Luther King Assassination 50th Anniversary

by NinaShelton

C-SPAN3's American History TV
Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination - 50th Anniversary
April 3-4, 2018 - Memphis

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C-SPAN will be LIVE from Memphis with events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination on April 4, 1968. Rev. King was in Memphis to support a city sanitation workers strike. The fatal rifle shot was fired at 6:01 pm local time from the window of a rooming house across the street, striking him on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel just steps outside his room. He died an hour later at a Memphis hospital. His murder set off riots and protests in more than 100 cities across the country and deprived the civil rights movement of its most eloquent and influential national leader.

C-SPAN's coverage and programming will include: 

Tuesday, April 3, 1pm-2:30pm ET, C-SPAN LIVE
LIVE coverage of a speech by historian Taylor Branch, author of a trilogy of books on the civil rights era, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63." The event takes place at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn and is organized by the National Civil Rights Museum.

Wednesday, April 4, 4:30pm-8pm ET, LIVE
LIVE coverage of an outdoor service commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the assassination. The ceremony at the National Civil Rights Museum's plaza in front of the preserved Lorraine Motel includes a wreath-laying at the spot where Rev. King fell mortally wounded, as well as remarks by religious and civil rights leaders, including Jesse Jackson, who was with Rev. King on the balcony at the time of the shooting. The commemoration ends with the tolling of a bell at 6:01pm local time (7:01pm ET), exactly 50 years after the assassination. Following the event, we will open our phone lines for viewer reaction and comments. The entire commemorative service re-airs at 8pm ET on C-SPAN.

C-SPAN 3's coverage and programming will include:

Tuesday, April 3, 8pm ET, C-SPAN 3
Archival coverage of events surrounding Rev. King's assassination, including CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite announcing Rev. King's death on the night of April 4, 1968 and a portion of Rev. King's funeral in Atlanta on April 9, 1968.

Wednesday, April 4,  8pm-11:15pm ET, C-SPAN 3
LIVE coverage of remarks and panel discussions with civil rights leaders both past and present, including Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Marian Wright Edelman, Diane Nash, Gina Belafonte and Tamika Mallory. The event takes place at the Crosstown Concourse in Memphis and is organized by the National Civil Rights Museum. 

All LIVE coverage re-airs Saturday, April 7, at 10am and 8pm ET on American History TV on C-SPAN 3.