In 1968, the first McDonald’s Big Mac was introduced, 60 minutes debuted on CBS and The Beatles released “Hey Jude”.

However, everything was not quite as cheery in 1968.

On April 4, 1968, just after 6 p.m., civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot.1

He was standing on the balcony outside of his second-story motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, when it happened.

King was 39 years old when he was rushed to the Memphis Hospital and pronounced dead.

Not long before his death, King was concerned with the pay inequality and gap between economic equality in America.

It was then that he developed and organized “Poor People’s Campaign,” which focused on this issue.

This entailed, “an interracial poor people’s march on Washington, and in March 1968, King traveled to Memphis in support of poorly treated African-American sanitation workers. On March 28, a workers’ protest march led by King ended in violence and the death of an African-American teenager. King left the city but vowed to return in early April to lead another demonstration,“ according to

The day before his assassination, he gave what would unknowingly be his last sermon.

During this, he said, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

Mary Curtin can be contacted at

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