1968: The Last Speech of Martin Luther King on the Eve of his Assassination

1968: The Last Speech of Martin Luther King on the Eve of his Assassination
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Martin Luther King

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 3 April 1968
  • In his last speech, “I've Been to the Mountaintop”, Martin Luther King in a somewhat prophetic way anticipated his impending death.

On this day Martin Luther King held his last speech before an audience. The very next day he was shot by a sniper.

The last speech he gave in Memphis, Tennessee. That speech is usually called “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” and, like his other speeches, shows a great oratorical skill.

Just to recall, Martin Luther King was an African-American civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1964.

In his speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”, the final part is particularly interesting, as it announces his impending death in a somewhat prophetic way. Namely, in that speech Martin Luther King said:

“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. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. 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!”

The whole speech was named by the following passage:

“Well, I do not know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really does not matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.”

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