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King assassination 45 years later

Thursday - 4/4/2013, 6:07pm  ET

Coretta Scott King, and her four children view the body of her husband, slain civil rights activist leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Atlanta, Ga., on April 7, 1968. The children are, from left, Yolanda, 12, Bernice, 5, Martin III, 11, and Dexter 7. The civil rights leader was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel when he was killed by a rifle bullet on April 4, 1968. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the killing and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in prison in 1998. (AP Photo)
  • Gallery: (10 images)

The Associated Press

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis 45 years ago on April 4, 1968, triggered spasms of both grief and violence.

As the nation's cities smoldered and police searched for the killer, civil rights activists and politicians joined the King family in mourning the loss of the 39-year-old minister.

Here are photos from the day of the slaying and its aftermath.


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