On This Day

April 3, 1968




The final speech

On This Day

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. … Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will … I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

MLK, April 3, 1968, in his last speech before he was assassinated.
On This Day

24 Hours Later:

  • MLK Jr. was in Memphis on April 4, 1968 helping sanitation workers on strike when he was killed.
  • Despite MLK’s dedication to nonviolent protest, riots broke out across the U.S. after his murder.
  • Lone gunman convicted for MLK’s murder, but his family never believed he worked alone.
On This Day

Lasting Legacy

His leadership changed America…
leading to the end of segregation, the 1964 Civil Rights Act (ending discrimination based on race, gender, creed) & the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

MLK Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream speech” in 1963.

On This Day

MLK is one of only two people with a U.S. federal holiday honoring their birth (the other one is George Washington). How it became a holiday (and how it almost didn't):

view sources



Watch 2 minutes of MLK Jr.’s final speech: WATCH

  • It took 32 years before MLK’s birthday (Jan. 15) became a federal holiday in all 50 states.
  • In 1983, Pres. Reagan signed a law stating it would be observed on the 3rd Monday in January.
  • In 1994, Pres. Clinton signed a law designating it as a National Day of Service.

About Dr. King: www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king
Martin Luther King Jr. – Questions and Answers: https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-faq.html
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Cause: Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike: https://www.npr.org/2018/04/03/599077719/martin-luther-king-jr-s-final-cause-memphis-sanitations-workers-strike