WATCH: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago tonight.
Chet Huntley reported the news in an NBC News Special Report, seen here.
King was in Memphis, Tenn., where sanitation workers, almost all of them black, had been on strike for weeks.
The night before he was killed, King gave the last speech of his life, the famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, before an audience of striking workers and their supporters.
He ended the speech by saying, “I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter to me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I won’t mind. Like anybody, I’d 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. 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 evening, April 4, 1968, standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, King was hit by a single rifle shot fired from the window of a nearby boarding house.
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)!
ERA has been introduced in congress more times than any other proposed amendment. If passed the ERA would have provided for legal gender equality if it had been ratified by the states.
The ERA passed Congress in 1972 by the required two-thirds vote. But amendments must also be ratified by three-quarters of the states. The ERA was quickly ratified by 35 of the 38 states needed.
As the seven-year time limit for ratification approached in 1979, Congress and President Jimmy Carter controversially extended the deadline three years. However, no additional states ratified. The ERA had been presented to Congress every year from 1923-1972, but never passed.
Fortunately, ERA inspired laws have passed to provide women with more rights and equality, but there is still some work to be done.
The 19th Amendment passed in 1920, but the fight for women’s right to vote had been going on for three quarters of a century. This petition, dated to around 1865, bears the signatures of many suffrage pioneers, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone. Though many of the signers did not live to see women gain the vote, their contributions laid the groundwork for subsequent women’s movements.
WATCH: New Orleans Mayor Landrieu gives a frank speech on his city’s history and the removal of Confederate monuments:
“These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy – ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for. And after the Civil War, these monuments were a part of that terrorism, as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn. They were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.”
“Special visit today with a great friend – and now, a best-selling author. Luckily I had a freshly laundered pair of Bill Clinton socks to mark the occasion,” the 41st president tweeted of his visit with the 42nd president.
Some fun facts about my little smol bean Lafayette
• As a child he would pretend to fight a giant, mythical beast
• became one of the richest aristocrats in France when he was 13
• was a ginger!!!! and had a receding hairline that made him look super old
• danced with Marie Antoinette at a ball
• but he danced so badly she laughed at him and he was humiliated in front of the whole court
• got super seasick
• youngest general in the Continental Army!!
• was shot in the leg during his first battle in America (poor bby) but he reFUSED to get medical treatment until all his troops were back at camp safely
• was so freaking in love with America that he basically wrote his own constitution for France based on America’s
• G. Wash never had kids and Lafayette never really knew his father so the two of them became basically father and son ! ! ! and they napped together under a tree
• was shoved into prison during the French Revolution and actually escaped ? It was so crazy he fought the guards and then escaped on horseback but he was captured the next day and thrown back into prison
• ok so now let’s talk about him and freaking Adrienne
• they had an arranged marriage but it was chill bc they acted like middle schoolers and they were super in love
• when Lafayette was in prison Adriemne couldn’t stand to be away from him so she freaking j o i n e d him IN PRISON until he was released
• when she died he blocked off her part of their house and would meditate every morning while holding her picture
• ok so now I’m gonna get pissed
• when G Wash died later on
• Lafayette was in France right
• and no one bothered to tell Lafayette that G Wash had DIED
• Lafayette wasn’t even INVITED TO THE FUNERAL
• I’M SO HEATED
• but like later when Lafayette died
• Andrew Jackson (bless his heart) ordered Lafayette to have the same honors and ceremonies G Wash had been given at his funeral
• and Lafayette loved America so freaking much that he had American soil brought to France so he could be buried in it
• no I’m not crying over this smol bean
We could choose our President by picking a ball from a bowl. This was one of many ideas suggested in Congress for replacing the electoral college system devised by the Founders. The randomness of this method may have been an attempt to sidestep growing sectional rivalries before the Civil War.