Today, April 4, 2018, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the darkest, most tragic events in American history — the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., cut down in the prime of life at just 39 years of age.
The great Civil Rights leader and Baptist minister was in Memphis to show solidarity with sanitation workers marching for better working conditions and higher wages.
Dr. King had endured many death threats from racists for most of his ministry. People evil enough to blow up little girls in a Birmingham church would have no compunction about murdering the undisputed leader of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement even if he was committed to nonviolence.
It is almost as if Dr. King had a premonition that his death was at hand. It is impossible to watch the film of Dr. King speaking to the overflow crowd in Memphis that fateful night so long ago and not have chills run down your back:
I just want to do God's will and He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over and I've seen the Promised Land. 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. And so I'm happy tonight; I'm not worried about anything; I'm not fearing any man. "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."
The next day Dr. King was ruthlessly murdered.