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Historical Connections

50th Anniversary of MLK Assassination

Explore our collection of newspapers, photographs and lesson plans relating to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the fight for social justice, and his death in 1968.

April 4, 2018

Newseum Collection

On April 4, 1968, the fatal shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. sent shock waves through the country. Famous for his nonviolent principles and rhetorical mastery, King understood the power of the First Amendment and used it to bring national attention to the ongoing battle for racial equality. His death on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tenn., silenced a major figure in the civil rights movement, but his message and words remain strong half a century later.

View archived front pages covering the assassination, funeral, ensuing riots and the impact of King’s death on civil rights legislation from The Atlanta Constitution, the North Carolina Courier-Tribune, The Michigan Daily and The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, as well as a photograph of King’s family at his funeral.

You can bring King, the fight for racial equality and the First Amendment into your classroom through NewseumED resources. (To access some of these resources, you must be signed into NewseumED; registration is free.)


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Dive into specially curated collections of primary sources and lessons on civil rights, women's suffrage and more.

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