Daughter hails 'apostle of non-violence' Martin Luther King

Jeremiah Dew. Will Crooks  Greenville Journal

She said that younger generations need to remember what those leaders did to ensure civil rights for all.

Lee Saunders, a national labour leader, recounted how on that night in 1968, King made an unplanned appearance to deliver the famous speech without notes after his aides saw how passionate the crowd was: "There was one man they wanted to hear from".

"I know our God didn't bring us this far to leave us", said his son Martin Luther King III. "Reverend King we can't legislate morality and he would say we 'are not asking for the government to make my neighbor love me, we are asking the government to keep my neighbor from killing me, '" Reed said.

The Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated, staged a day of remembrance and reflection Wednesday.

The daylong tribute there - featuring speeches, videos, and singing and spoken-word performances - is largely being held in the courtyard of the motel, now home to the National Civil Rights Museum.

"The NAACP is proud that through the calendar of activities drawn from the striking sanitation workers" iconic slogan, "I Am a Man, ' we'll be able to connect the movements of the past with today's youth and movements for social change, while symbolically passing the mantle, and strengthening and energizing our Youth and College Division Leadership", Johnson said.

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.

People gathered near the Martin Luther King Jr., memorial in Washington before kicking off a march on the nation's capital.

Events were also taking taking place in Atlanta, where King's daughter, Rev. Bernice A. King, moderated an awards ceremony in his honour, and near the Martin Luther King Jr.

"He {Dr. King} would tell Mr. Trump that we can't go back, we are going forward" Lewis said. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

The commemoration Tuesday of the mountaintop speech followed an announcement earlier in the day by civil rights leaders who are reviving an economic justice campaign first planned by King.

In 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, protested working conditions, poverty wages and the city's refusal to recognize their union after two of their members died.

Speaking in King's hometown of Atlanta, the Rev. Bernice King recalled her father as a great orator whose message of peaceful protest was still vital decades later. He died at a hospital at age 39.

In an excerpt from Redemption: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Last 31 Hours published in the Guardian, Joseph Rosenbloom delves into King's 43-minute final speech at the Mason Temple the night before his death.

"I'm still anxious and frustrated", said Lawson, his black hair turned gray. "Because he gave his life, he was martyred". "We were all gathered around the black and white TV and then it was one per household, so everybody watched the same thing and everybody watched together".

"He had just come from a plane which had been emptied, because of the threat of the plane being hit by a terrorist attack", Jackson said.

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