Anniversary of King murder marked in various ways

Wednesday marked 44 years since U.S. civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed.

Americans honored the anniversary with a range of events.

At the recently-completed Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington, the Coalition on Political Assassinations organized a vigil Wednesday morning to call for the release of classified government records on the life and death of the slain activist.

Meanwhile, the southern city of Memphis, Tennessee, where King was assassinated, marked the day by naming a street after him.

During the 1950s and 1960s, King led a campaign of non-violent demonstrations aimed at ending discrimination against African Americans. His push for equal rights won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. That same year, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial segregation in public places.

King died in Memphis on the night of April 4, 1968, after being shot on a motel balcony. He was just 39 years old at the time and had been in the city to lead a march for workers’ rights.

King is best remembered for his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, which united millions of people in the United States and around the world to work for racial justice.

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