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Today is the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once a student and regular figure in the southwest Atlanta community.

King led many of the civil right’s student movement planning meetings at Paschal’s Restaurant on Hunter Street, now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

At the mere age of 15, Martin Luther King graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and went on to attend Morehouse College. Within the 36 years of his life, Dr.  King was known as great orator, theologian, philosopher, a non-violent crusader and servant of man-kind. Also, he was recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for working to end segregation within the United States.

Dr. King’s life ended with an assassin’s bullet at the Lorraine Motel, April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

Dr. King went to Memphis to help organize the sanitation workers to negotiate more rights for higher pay.  The night before his death, he gave one of his most famous speeches:  “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top.” The remarkable speech outlined his vision of people reaching higher heights within desegregation and the Voting Rights Act.

In his address, he envisioned his own death: “I’ve seen the Promised Land, although I many not get there with you.”

James Earl Ray was convicted for the death of King and died in prison in 1998.

In memory of Dr. King, family members will lay a wreath at noon at his gravesite at The King Center, 449 Auburn Ave. For details about the wreath-laying, call 404-526-8900.

Also, residents can remember Dr. King with a visit in person or online to the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Collection, which holds over 10,000 items representing much of King’s life and spanning from his days from being admitted to Morehouse at age 15 to the days following his death.

The collection includes sermons, letters, telegrams, and pictures from the era of desegregation.  Also, the collection holds approximately 1,100 books from King’s personal library, some with personal annotations.

“The Morehouse tradition of academic excellence and ethical leadership have distinguished  the institution since it’s founding,” said Professor Vicki Crawford, Director of the Morehouse College’s King Collection.  “Dr. King’s extraordinary life and legacy continue to serve as one of the College’s exemplars.”

Further, she states, “At the heart of our mission is the education of future leaders who will be influence by King’s ideals and move to discover for themselves new questions and approaches to the challenges of our times.”

A short video gives an insightful view to the acquisition of the King collection:  http://www.morehouse.edu/kingcollection/media.php

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