Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral and Assassination Essay

1605 Words 7 Pages
Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral and Assassination

Word spread like wildfire when the news of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination hit the public. As the leading civil rights activist in the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. preached words of peace and understanding among races. A well known name throughout the North and South, King gained extreme popularity within the African American community. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated a wave of sorrow spread across the nation. With rage, sadness, and hopelessness in the public eye, clearly the assassination hurt more than just one man, it hurt a nation.

A single shot killed 39-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968. At the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis,
…show more content…
Screaming “Brothers, Unite!” in the crowd, many African Americans chaotically trashed the community to physically represent their sadness and anger regarding the assassination (Johnson 2).

Five days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., a funeral in Atlanta, Georgia preceded (“Abernathy” 33). Dr. King’s funeral spearheaded with the rites and services, and then continued with a march from “the streets of downtown Atlanta to the campus of Morehouse College” (“Abernathy” 33). With “740 city policemen and 100 firemen [guarding] the route of the march, and several thousand National Guardsmen” the march, surprisingly, ended peacefully and safely (“Abernathy” 33). As an influential leader lost, “plans to handle crowds of 50,000 or more people were being hurriedly pulled together” (Ripley, “50,000" 1). The public funeral, at Morehouse College, hosted thousands of people from all over the nation. Standing along side the King family, these thousands of people mourned with the family in remembrance.

After the funeral, analysts talked frequently of the estimated number of people in attendance at the funeral. The estimated range “varied from 20,000 to 60,000" people (Ripley, “50,000" 1). With a 40,000 person gap, it is interesting to note the large estimate difference. How is it possible to obtain such a huge discrepancy? With definite differences in opinion, actual visual experience, and
Open Document