Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968, to back a strike of sanitation workers. That night at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple the civil rights leader gave a powerful address titled “He predicted “we’ve got some difficult days ahead” in his song “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”
Yet, I no longer care because I have already reached the pinnacle… And He has permitted me to ascend the peak. And now I see it clearly: the land of promise. Even if I don’t make it to the Promised Land with you, I want you to know tonight that we shall ” (via CNN). Nobody knew at the time, but this would be King’s final public address.
King was on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel on the evening of April 4. At 6:01 p.m., he was sh0t while on his way to a minister’s house for dinner. (H/t: King Institute at Stanford University). He was sent to the nearest hospital, but he never regained consciousness and passed away within the hour.
His age was given as 39. The shooter was identified as James Earl Ray, who had been staying at a boarding house close to the Lorraine Motel. He aimed his weapon through the glass of King’s bathroom and k!lled him. The Time stated that Ray was arrested more than two months after King’s murder and given a life sentence.
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After being sh0t, Martin Luther King Jr. nearly D!ed Instantly
A bulIet pierced the activist’s jaw and neck area severing the spinal cord according to Dr. Jerry T. Francisco, the medical examiner who worked on Martin Luther King Jr. According to the Autopsy Report, King d!ed from his gunsh0t wound quite quickly after it occurred.
King suffered a broken right mandible and a cut to his jugular vein. A “gunsh0t wound to the spinal column, lower cervical, higher thoracic” was declared as the official cause of his dea†h. There was a question as to whether or not Dr. Francisco had followed the path of the gunsh0t during his autopsy.
The study and evidence were reportedly evaluated by a panel of forensic pathologists, as stated by the National Archives. According to their findings aforementioned, Dr. Francisco’s “concerns about not creating any extra deformities to the body” led him to decide against tracing the bulIet’s route. The autopsy report was found to be correct nevertheless.
The inquiry revealed that King’s jaw was cracked because the bullet penetrated his jaw just below the right side of his mouth. After leaving his face, it entered his neck, where it ruptured an artery and broke his back. The autopsy also revealed that King’s heart was in the same poor state as someone 60 years old, even though he was only 39 years old when he passed away.
According to the cardiologist, King’s strenuous lifestyle likely accelerated the aging of his heart. Throughout his career as an activist, King was imprisoned several times, spent time in jail, and narrowly avoided dea†h once.
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