- FBI Investigation
- Conspiracy Theories
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King on death
As early as the mid-1950s, King had received death threats because of his prominence in the civil rights movement. He had confronted the risk of death, including a nearly fatal stabbing in 1958, and made its recognition part of his philosophy. He taught that murder could not stop the struggle for equal rights. After the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, King told his wife, Coretta Scott King, "This is what is going to happen to me also. I keep telling you, this is a sick society."
King traveled to Memphis, Tennessee in support of striking African American city sanitation workers. The workers had staged a walkout on February 11, 1968 to protest unequal wages and working conditions imposed by mayor Henry Loeb. At the time, Memphis paid black workers significantly lower wages than it did white workers. There were no city-issued uniforms, no restrooms, no recognized union, and no grievance procedure for the numerous occasions on which they were underpaid. During Loeb's ten...
On Thursday, April 4, 1968, King was staying in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The motel was owned by businessman Walter Bailey and was named after his wife. Reverend Ralph Abernathy, a colleague and friend, later told the House Select Committee on Assassinationsthat he and King had stayed in Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often that it was known as the "King–Abernathy Suite". According to biographer Taylor Branch, King's last words were to musician Ben Branch, who was scheduled to perform that night at a planned event. King said, "Ben, make sure you play 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty." According to Rev. Samuel Kyles, who was standing several feet away, King was leaning over the balcony railing in front of Room 306 and was speaking with Rev. Jesse Jackson when the shot rang out. King was struck in the face at 6:01 p.m. by a single .30-06 bullet fired from a Remington Model 760 rifle. The bullet entered through King's right c...
Coretta Scott King
King's widow Coretta had difficulty informing her children that their father was dead. She received a large number of telegrams, including one from Lee Harvey Oswald's mother that she regarded as the one that had touched her the most.
Within the movement
For some, King's assassination meant the end of the strategy of nonviolence. Others in the movement reaffirmed the need to carry on King's and the movement's work. Leaders within the SCLC confirmed that they would carry on the Poor People's Campaign that year despite the loss of King.Some black leaders argued the need to continue King's and the movement's tradition of nonviolence.
Robert F. Kennedy speech
During the day of the assassination while on the campaign trail for the Democratic presidential nomination in Indiana, Senator Robert F. Kennedy learned of the shooting before boarding a plane to Indianapolis.Kennedy was scheduled to make a speech there in a predominantly black neighborhood. Kennedy did not learn that King had died until he landed in Indianapolis. Kennedy's press secretary, Frank Mankiewicz, suggested that he ask the audience to pray for the King family and to follow King's p...
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was assigned the lead to investigate King's death. J. Edgar Hoover, who had previously made efforts to undermine King's reputation, told President Johnson that his agency would attempt to find the culprit(s). Many documents related to the investigation remain classified and are slated to remain secret until 2027. In 2010, as in earlier years, some argued for passage of a proposed Records Collection Act, similar to a 1992 law concerning the Kennedy assassination, to require the immediate release of the records.The measure did not pass.
A crowd of 300,000 attended King's funeral on April 9. Vice President Hubert Humphrey attended on behalf of Johnson, who was at a meeting on the Vietnam War at Camp David; there were fears that Johnson might be hit with protests and abuse over the war if he attended the funeral. At his widow's request, King's last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church was played at the funeral; it was a recording of his "Drum Major" sermon given on February 4, 1968. In that sermon, he asked that, at his funeral, no mention of his awards and honors be made, but that it be said he tried to "feed the hungry", "clothe the naked", "be right on the [Vietnam] war question", and "love and serve humanity."
Capture and guilty plea
The FBI investigation found fingerprints on various objects left in the bathroom from which the gunfire had come. Evidence included a Remington Gamemaster rifle from which at least one shot had been fired. The fingerprints were traced to an escaped convict named James Earl Ray. Two months after assassinating King, Ray was captured at London's Heathrow Airport while he was trying to depart the United Kingdom for Angola, Rhodesia, or apartheid South Africa on a false Canadian passport in the na...
Ray and seven other convicts escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee on June 10, 1977. They were recaptured on June 13 and returned to prison.A year was added to Ray's sentence. Ray worked for the remainder of his life unsuccessfully attempting to withdraw his guilty plea and secure a full trial. In 1997, King's son Dexter met with Ray; he publicly supported Ray's efforts to obtain a retrial. William Francis Pepperremained Ray's attorney until Ray's death. He carr...
Ray died in prison on April 23, 1998 at the age of 70 from kidney and liver failure caused by hepatitis C (probably contracted as a result of a blood transfusion given after a stabbingwhile at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary).
In December 1993, Loyd Jowers, a white man from Memphis with business interests in the vicinity of the assassination site, appeared on ABC's Prime Time Live. He had gained attention by claiming that he had conspired with the mafia and the federal government to kill King. According to Jowers, Ray was a scapegoatand was not directly involved in the shooting. Jowers claimed that he had hired someone to kill King as a favor for a friend in the mafia, Frank Liberto, a produce merchant who died bef...
In 1998, CBS reported that two separate ballistic tests conducted on the Remington Gamemaster allegedly used by Ray in the assassination were inconclusive.Some witnesses with King at the moment of the shooting said that the shot had been fired from a different location and not from Ray's window; they believed that the source was a spot behind thick shrubbery near the rooming house. King's friend and SCLC organizer Reverend James Lawson has suggested that the impending occupation of Washington..."I've Been to the Mountaintop"
Jan 08, 2015 · On September 6, 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition’s Temple of Music, President William McKinley became the third U.S. President to be assassinated. Like his unfortunate predecessors, James Garfield and Abraham Lincoln, he was shot at close range in circumstances that would not have existed given more solid security measures.
Apr 12, 2009 · 1.Zolgotz,Bascom Lamar Lunford, from “Songs and Ballads of American History and of the Assassination of Presidents” 2.White House Blues, Big Sweet Lewis Hairston & Leonard Bowles, from Digital Library of Appalachia 3.The Road To Washington, Ernest V. Stoneman, from “The Unsung Father Of Country Music”
Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Robert F. Kennedy lies mortally wounded on the floor immediately after the shooting. Kneeling beside him is 17-year-old busboy Juan Romero, who was shaking Kennedy's hand when Sirhan Sirhan fired the shots. Location Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles Coordinates 34°03′35″N 118°17′50″W / 34.0597°N 118.2971°W / 34.0597; -118.2971 Coordinates ...
Jan 29, 2015 · On the 180th anniversary of the first assassination attempt against a U.S. president, learn how Andrew Jackson miraculously escaped death at the hands of a crazed gunman.
- Attempted Assassinations
- Presidential Deaths Rumored to Be Assassinations
- See Also
1. Main article: Abraham Lincoln assassination The assassination of Abraham Lincoln took place on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, at approximately 10:15 p.m. President Abraham Lincoln was shot by actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and two guests. The president died the following morning—April 15, 1865—at 7:22 a.m., in the home of William Petersen.
James A. Garfield
1. Main article: Assassination of James A. Garfield The assassination of James A. Garfield took place in Washington, D.C., at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 2, 1881, less than four months after Garfield took office. Charles Guiteau shot him with a .442 WebleyBritish Bulldog revolver. Garfield died 11 weeks later, on Friday, September 19, 1881, at 10:35 p.m., due to infections.
1. Main article: William McKinley assassination The assassination of William McKinley took place at 4:07 p.m. on Friday, September 6, 1901, at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York. President William McKinley, attending the Pan-American Exposition, was shot twice by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist. McKinley died eight days later, on September 14, 1901, at 2:15 a.m.
January 30, 1835: At the Capitol Building, a house painter named Richard Lawrence aimed two flintlock pistols at the President, but both misfired, one of them while Lawrence stood within 13 feet (4 m) of Jackson, and the other at point-blank range. Lawrence was apprehended after Jackson beat him down with a cane. Lawrence was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a mental institution until his death in 1861. The odds of two consecutive misfires were estimated at 1 in 1,925,00...
1. Main article: Baltimore Plot February 23, 1861: The Baltimore Plot was an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln en route to his inauguration. Allan Pinkerton, eponymous founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, played a key role by managing Lincoln's security throughout the journey. Though scholars debate whether or not the threat was real, clearly Lincoln and his advisors believed that there was a threat and took actions to ensure his safe passage thr...
October 13, 1912: Three and a half years after he left office, Roosevelt was running for President as a member of the Progressive party established in 1912 by Roosevelt and other political free thinkers, after he split from the Republican Party which he had served as a member of during his Presidency. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John F. Schrank, a saloon-keeper from New York, shot Roosevelt once with a .38 caliber revolver. A 50-page speech folded over twice in Roosevelt's breast pocket and a me...
On July 4, 1850, President Zachary Taylor was diagnosed by his physicians with cholera morbus, a term that included diarrhea and dysentery but not true cholera. Cholera, typhoid fever, and food poisoning have all been indicated as the source of the president's ultimately fatal gastroenteritis. More specifically, a hasty snack of iced milk, cold cherries and pickled cucumbers consumed at an Independence Day celebration might have been the culprit.By July 9, Taylor was dead. In the late 1980s,...
Warren G. Harding
In June 1923, President Warren G. Harding set out on a cross-country "Voyage of Understanding," planning to meet ordinary people and explain his policies. During this trip, he became the first president to visit Alaska. Rumors of corruption in his administration were beginning to circulate in Washington by this time, and Harding was profoundly shocked by a long message he received while in Alaska, apparently detailing illegal activities previously unknown to him. At the end of July, while tra...2008 Barack Obama assassination scare in Denver and in TennesseeUnited States Secret Service
Jan 17, 2020 · June 24, 1894 - French President Sadi Carnot was stabbed to death in Lyon, France. March 13, 1881 - Russian Tsar Alexander II was killed by one of three bombs that were set off, killing him and at least two others, as well as wounding a number of people in the crowd. Assassination of Alexander II.
Nov 22, 2013 · The Rev. William Holmes served as pastor of Dallas' Northaven Methodist from 1957 to 1965, and it was there he preached the sermon "One Thing Worse Than This." Photo courtesy Northaven United Methodist Church. At the Trade Mart, the Holmes' joyful expectation turned to shock when they learned Kennedy had been shot as his motorcade passed ...
DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM LAWRENCE. 1 William Lawrence, the second brother, was born at Great St. Alban's, Hertfordshire, England, in 1623. He embarked, together with his brother John, in the ship Planter, in 1635, for America.
William Lawrence, son of Elder John Lawrence and Lavinah, was born in 1764 in Dutchess County, New York. He died before 1850 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. In 1777, at the age of 13, William entered the service of the United States as a militia man during the Revolutionary War under Captain Champlain, Lieutenant Ben...