On this day April 4, 1968

American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, US.

Lorraine Motel

At 6:01 p.m. on Thursday, while he was standing on the motel’s second floor balcony, King was struck by a single .30 bullet fired from a Remington 760 Gamemaster.

The bullet travelled through the right side of his neck, smashing his throat and down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.

King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where doctors opened his chest and performed manual heart massage. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. According to Taylor Branch, King’s autopsy revealed that though he was only 39 years old, he had the heart of a 60 year old man.

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