40 years ago today Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically shot down and killed in Memphis, TN. The night before, he had made a speech at the Monumental Baptist Church. He was in Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. Before his death, King was broadening his message to include wiping out poverty, and also opposition to the Viet Nam war.
King's last speech has come to be known as the "Mountaintop" speech, and is quite eerily prophetic.
Here's a link to a wonderful npr.org page all about MLK's last speech.
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. 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. 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 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
I was born two months after this event and, as as we all know, Robert F. Kennedy was also assassinated in that fateful summer. I wonder what Martin Luther King could have accomplished if he had lived his natural lifespan? We have come so far! I wish he had lived to see it and help the process along. Can you imagine what he would have thought of Barack Obama's promising presidential run?