This Day in Black History: April 9, 1968

The funeral for Martin Luther King Jr. was held.

Posted: 04/09/2013 08:00 AM EDT
Martin Luther King Jr. funeral

Thousands of mourners followed the body of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a procession around the streets of Atlanta to pay their final respects to the civil rights leader on April 9, 1968. 

A public service was held at Morehouse College and a private service was held for the family and close friends of Dr. King at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. First lady Jacqueline Kennedy was one of many notable figures in attendance. 

The service marked almost of a week of turmoil in Black communities that rioted across the country upon first hearing of King's death on April 4 in Memphis.

He was in Memphis preparing for a march on behalf of striking sanitation workers. At 6:01 p.m., the civil rights leader was standing on the balcony in front of his room at the Lorraine Motel when he was struck by a .30-caliber rifle bullet. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital an hour later.

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(Photo:  Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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