On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people demonstrated peacefully in Washington, D.C., asking for equal justice for all. Among the many stirring speeches, one stood out in its eloquence. Martin Luther King Jr., the man who had brought the civil-rights movement to national attention, said in part, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”‘ Committed to nonviolence, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He led the Selma-Montgomery march in 1965 and the Mississippi march in 1966. When he spoke out against the Vietnam War, King drew harsh criticism from many who had once supported him. In April of 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been invited to help sanitation workers on strike achieve their goals peaceably. On the night of April 3, he spoke at the Mason Street Temple to a crowd of more than 2,000. The next day, shortly before a dinner engagement, King was standing on the Lorraine Motel balcony, talking to Reverend Jesse Jackson, when an assassin’s rifle bullet struck him in the jaw. A little over an hour later, Martin Luther King Jr. died at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was 39.
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