- Historical event:
- 4 April 1968
- The bullet hit King in the right cheek, went through his jaw and his spine, and remained lodged in his shoulder.
Famous African-American human rights activist – Martin Luther King – was assassinated on this day in 1968 with a shot from a sniper rifle. The assassination happened while King was on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
The bullet hit King in the right cheek, went through his jaw and his spine, and remained lodged in his shoulder. He was taken to hospital, where in he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m..
A little more than two months after the murder, James Earl Ray, a white man from Illinois who confessed to the deed, was arrested. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He later recanted this confession, as he apparently gave it only because in case that he did not admit and got a trial conviction, he could be sentenced to the electric chair.
There are conspiracy theories related to the murder. It is interesting to note that James Earl Ray, while in prison, gave an interview for Playboy magazine, which included taking a polygraph test.
The polygraph allegedly showed that Ray really did kill King and that he did it alone.