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1968 event - Essay Example

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., known as the advocate for social equality, non-violence and racial brotherhood was fatally shot by a gunman at night. The event was reported in the New York Times by Earl Caldwell on 5th April, 1968 (The New York Times 1968)…
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Download file to see previous pages Immediately after the incident, he was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to injury and was pronounced dead after an hour. He passed away at the age of 39 (History 2012).
Over four thousand National Guard Troops were ordered into Memphis to control the situation and prevent its aftermath; however the gunman managed to run away and escape. A curfew was immediately imposed as the 550,000 shocked inhabitants of the city, came to terms with the shocking incident. According to police accounts, the tragedy led to sporadic violence in Harlem and Brooklyn followed by incidents of looting and hostilities against the policemen by the districts with a majority of African American populations (The New York Times, 1968).
The suspect who played a pivotal role in the tragedy was later identified as James Earl Ray – a small-time criminal, an ex-convict and a known racist was apprehended by the U.S. authorities at the Heathrow Airport on June 8 1968. Bystanders and witnesses present at the event narrated various accounts which included some of them witnessing him fleeing from a boarding house with a suspicious bundle, near the Lorraine Motel. It was alleged by the prosecutors that he had fired from the bathroom in the Motel building (History 2012). He was convicted for the murder of Dr. King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison on May 10, 1968.
Earl Ray consistently denied his involvement in the assassination. The hunt for the suspects was one of the most sensational events in the history of the United States, giving rise to various conspiracy theories, misleading the investigators. Various eye witness accounts were taken into consideration and millions of dollars were invested by the Federal government to arrest the key conspirator.
The tragedy was one of the most significant events in history since Dr. King was the leader and pioneer of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. and played a key role in the upliftment of the suppressed African ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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