Civil rights leaders, family reflect on Martin Luther King Jr's legacy

To Coretta's left is the youngest daughter, Bernice, 5.

A relative of one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s chief opponents is honoring the slain civil rights leader on the anniversary of his death.

The Memphis events are scheduled to feature King's contemporaries, including the Rev Jesse Jackson, the Rev Al Sharpton and United States representative John Lewis, along with celebrities such as the rapper Common.

Scandal star Tony Goldwyn quoted King's final speech before his assassination. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

US President Donald Trump also paid homage to the civil rights icon by proclaiming April 4, 2018 a day to honor King.

"The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas made this clear when they stood and elevated the voices that they feel have been left behind these past few weeks, and we can not allow them to be forgotten", Watts said.

The next evening, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, King was shot by James Earl Ray.

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The commemoration of the "Mountaintop" speech followed an announcement earlier in the day by civil rights leaders who are reviving an economic justice campaign first planned by King.

King, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, became known as the "apostle of nonviolence" as he sought to achieve equality and fairness for all Americans.

The Georgia Democrat marched alongside King, and is the last living person who spoke at the 1963 March on Washington.

King's assassination on April 4, 1968 marked one of the most significant moments in US history.

Events are being held across the U.S. to commemorate the civil rights leader, with a rally taking place in Washington under the banner "Ending Racism". But we've come too far. The divisiveness that we're hearing from Washington, D.C., is so much worse, and little more than the lingering continuation of the racial divide that started in our country long before it was a country. "We're going to redeem the soul of America, '" said Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis. In 1968, he returned to Memphis to support a strike by city sanitation workers and lead a nonviolent march. Seeking to prove that non-violent protests still worked, King vowed to lead a peaceful march and returned to Memphis days later.

The Lorraine Motel, where the civil rights leader was killed will be packed with thousands of people today, to recall the impact his work had on the nation, and the world. He died at a hospital at age 39. I'd been listening to her all my life, so it was great to hear her sing "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" live. "Because he gave his life, he was martyred". "We were all gathered around the black and white TV and then it was one per household, so everybody watched the same thing and everybody watched together".

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