Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 Years After His Death

Updated on September 7, 2019
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr. 50 Years Later
Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr. 50 Years Later

A lot of people know exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968.

That was 50 years ago, and some people remember the day of that tragic even as if it had just happened.

50 Years Ago

King was only 39 years old when he was killed in Memphis, Tennessee. On the date that marks the 50th anniversary of his death, specials are being aired on television all day long, and communities are holding events in memory of his death.

Days leading up to the actual anniversary date, television networks aired three documentaries that remind viewers about what happened before and during the time of King's death.

The life and legacy are still subjects of interest to people worldwide. That says a lot about someone who lived half a century ago.

April 1 - "Hope & Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media"

On Easter Sunday, April 1, MSNBC aired "Hope & Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media." It was the third airing of the two-hour documentary. The original airing was on NBC on March 24 and hosted by Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and on MSNBC on March 25. The program focused on how the civil rights activist was covered in the media.

That was long before social media and technology ruled the world like today. Even so, there is enough footage on file for people to get see how the civil rights activist was covered in the news.

"Hope and Fury" is an account of civil rights leaders and reporters who chronicled King's life and legacy and explained how his ideas still fit into today's civic the movement, journalists from across generations, as well as present-day activists who have adopted the tactics of their forbearers to shine a light on inequality in the modern era. The film offers a fresh look at the historic civil rights movement and combines first-hand personal recollections with rare, archival footage and photographs - some of which will be broadcast on network television for the first time.

April 2 - "King in the Wilderness"

HBO aired a documentary on April 2 entitled "King in the Wilderness." It featured news accounts from 1968 to 2014. The coverage was a look back at the final years in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

King's "I Have a Dream" speech was highlighted that people have been inspired by over the last 50 years. He gave the speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963 in front of a crowd of almost 250,000 people.

Variety says the documentary humanized what King went through during his last 18 month on earth.

Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr. 50 Years Later
Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr. 50 Years Later

April 4 - "I Am MLK Jr."

The Paramount network will air "I Am MLK Jr." that highlights activism during King's Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington.

During the program, older civil rights leader Jesse Jackson will be featured as well as modern-day celebrities such as Van Jones and Nick Cannon. Shaun King, a key figure in Black Lives Matter will also be featured in an interview that illustrates how Dr. King's legacy is still an inspiration and example of activism today.

The documentary looks at Dr. King's experience and his legacy through five of his greatest events:

  1. The Montgomery Bus Boycott
  2. The Birmingham Campaign
  3. March on Washington
  4. The Selma Movement
  5. The Assassination and Legacy

The Younger Generation

It is amazing how many young people are inspired by what they have heard about Dr. King even though they were not even born during the time King was living and speaking out for civil rights.

The younger generation knows about King only through television coverage. His memory is being kept alive by people who knew and supported him as well as those who learned about him only after his death.

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Tim, for the compliment about my article. It is amazing that MLK is remembered and honored 50 years after his death. It was my tribute to write about him your tribute to read and comment.

    • profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 years ago

      Great article about MLK. He was a very special soul who helped America begin to really see its issues with intolerance and hate. Thank you for writing about a man who tried to bring unity to America.



    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes lol, 50 this year. I don't know where the years have gone.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Louise, you just told your age! I was 22 at the time. So, I told my age also.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      I was born just 17 days after he was assassinated. Martin Luther King was, and still, a very iconic figure.


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