April 5, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. killed

On the evening of April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of a Memphis hotel. He was visiting the city to lead a protest march in support of local sanitation workers.

The next day, The Herald published two articles: One that detailed the events of King’s death and the Attorney General’s hope to find his murderer, another that relayed President Lyndon B. Johnson’s proclamation of the following Sunday as a day of mourning. Read excerpts from both front-page stories below:

Clark Hopeful of Finding Slayer

“Before King’s bronze and copper casket was closed for the journey home, his body was on view at the R. S. Lewis and Sons funeral home in Memphis.

About 200 Negroes filed past the coffin, and most of them were visibly shaken.

One elderly woman walked up to the casket, shaking her head from side to side.

‘I didn’t know you,’ she whispered, ‘but I loved you.”

Proclamation Sunday Day of Mourning

“Johnson, addressing the nation on radio and television ‘in this hour of national need,’ vowed that ‘American shall not be ruled by the bullet.’

The President met with top Negro and government leaders earlier.

He had hastily arranged the meeting after Negroes took to the streets in more than a dozen big city ghettos, smashing windows, looting and hurling bricks.

In designating Sunday a national day of mourning, Johnson urged the nation to pray for an end to racial hatred.

In our churches, in our homes, in our private hearts, let us resolve before God to stand against the divisiveness in our country and all its consequences,’ the President said.”

Read through the April 5, 1968 edition in our collection of historical front pages.

More in Local News

District takes steps to secure school campuses

Safety measures have been enhanced at Hawthorne and Silver Firs elementary schools in Everett.

Local police join thousands honoring slain Canadian officer

Abbotsford Const. John Davidson was killed Nov. 6 in a shootout with a suspected car thief.

Hard work is paying off for Mariner High senior

Mey Ly has excelled in school since moving here from Cambodia; she also serves as an intrepreter.

1 arrested after SWAT team moves in on Marysville house

The incident was connected to an earlier robbery.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

County Council upholds ban on safe heroin injection sites

At Monday’s public hearing, more than 15 people spoke in support of the ban. No one spoke against it.

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

Most Read