Dr. King was murdered on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. During those years of tragedy and struggle I lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and taught there at the University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, where six years earlier the Tuscaloosa police department locked the congregation inside First African Baptist Church by chaining the doors shut and then lobbed tear gas through the windows. Tuscaloosa, the home of Bobby Shelton, the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and where the Klan office was on main street. The grand wizard usually had breakfast at the Tuscaloosa Grand Hotel each morning.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, a day before he was assassinated at approximately the same place. From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King, and Ralph Abernathy. AP photo