Leaders & Controversies

Transcript: Source2

News of the death of King in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, 5 April 1968
(Telegraph Group Limited (1968), source from The British Library)

Source 2a


Hunt for white man: two arrests



NEW YORK, Thursday.

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING 39, the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and America’s most respected Civil Rights leader, was assassinated tonight as he stood on the balcony of his hotel in the centre of Memphis, Tennessee. A single shot, apparently fired from a passing car, struck him in the neck and chin.

“Martin Luther King is dead,” said a police official about an hour after the Civil Rights leader had been taken by ambulance to a Memphis hospital.

Riot-equipped police were rushed to the hotel and sealed off a large area of the Memphis business section. Two men were arrested several hundred yards from the hotel. Police would not say whether they were implicated in the killing.

Police broadcast a bulletin instructing all units to look for a young white man. He was seen running from the scene and police said he dropped a weapon.

“He didn’t say a word. He didn’t move,” said one of Dr. King’s key assistants, the Rev. Andrew Young.

Source 2b


He and Negro leaders throughout America were grief stricken at the murder of a well-loved figure.

There was horror and public grief as the news spread through New York’s Harlem. Men and women stood with heads bowed as they listened to the news in the street and in restaurants and bars. Many wept openly.

President Johnson, on the eve of his departure for talks in Honolulu on peace moves in Vietnam, was deeply moved by the news from Memphis. He announced he would delay his departure for Honolulu for a day.

In Memphis police reported sporadic acts of violence in the Negro section as news of the shooting spread.

A curfew was placed on Memphis tonight. The Governor of Tennessee, Dr. Burford Ellington, ordered four thousand National Guardsmen into the city to keep order.

Source 2c

The photograph that appears with this newspaper article from the Daily Telegraph, dated 5th April 1968, shows Dr. Martin Luther King on a march with people supporting a strike in Memphis.

Dr Martin Luther King (CENTRE), who was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee, last night, leading a march in support of a strike by 1, 300 dustmen in Memphis last week. Dr. King left the march when violence broke out.

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