MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A yearlong series of events taking place ahead of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, kicked off Monday with the unveiling of a historical marker commemorating the civil rights leader's final flight.
Two aides and confidantes of King, former Atlanta Mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, helped dedicate the marker at Memphis International Airport. The unveiling is one of many events scheduled in this west Tennessee city leading up to the 2018 observance of the 50th anniversary of King's death.
King flew into Memphis 49 years ago - on April 3, 1968 - to support a sanitation workers strike. Eastern Airlines Flight 381 landed in Memphis late after the plane was delayed in Atlanta due to a bomb threat.
That night, King delivered his now-famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at Mason Temple Church of God in Christ. He was assassinated the next day while standing on the balcony at the old Lorraine Motel. Young and Jackson were both at the motel when King was shot.