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Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King's Chicago Connections

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 15, 2013 11:15PM

In 1966, Martin Luther King amplified his demands of City Hall in Chicago: more black police and firemen; open housing; desegregated schools; etc. A city, as he so often dreamed, "in which children could thrive not judged by the color of their skins but by the contents of their character." Two years passed and King was gunned down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The killer, who turned out to be James Earl Ray, was shooting his Remington 30-06 through a telescopic gunsight while standing in the bathtub of a flop house a hundred yards away as I show on the right. I talked the FBI into letting Life into the fatal bathroom after they had gathered their evidence. Ray's incriminating handprint, FBI dust still on it, was on the wall over the bathtub where the killer had leaned while sighting the motel balcony from the window.

Today would have been the 84th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and as the country stops to reflect on his life, it's time once again to remember his efforts to change the segregated nature of Chicago and how his influence is felt locally.

- Art Shay offered his testimony of Dr. King in this January 2011 post that contains some of our favorite shots Art has shared with us and readers.
- In 2010, Prescott Carlson looked back at Dr. King's Chicago tenure and the resistance he encountered from Mayor Richard J. Daley and the Democratic Machine.
- K.C. Hagans recounts his reflections on Dr. King on the fifth anniversary of his death.

Finally, we present his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, one of our favorites of his speeches. Listen closely and you'll hear the roots of President Obama's "The Audacity of Hope." It also serves as a reminder that we've come a long way, yet still have far to go, to truly achieve peace and equality.