Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American clergyman and civil rights leader who was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4,1968. King was rushed to St. Josephs Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7,05 p. m. that evening and he was a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was known for his use of nonviolence and civil disobedience. James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary, was arrested on June 8,1968, in London at Heathrow Airport, extradited to the United States, and charged with the crime. On March 10,1969, Ray entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Ray later made attempts to withdraw his guilty plea and be tried by a jury. The King family and others believe that the assassination was carried out by a conspiracy involving the U. S. government, as alleged by Loyd Jowers in 1993, in 1999 the King family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jowers for the sum of $10 million. During closing arguments, the Kings attorney asked the jury to award damages of $100, during the trial both the family and Jowers presented evidence alleging a government conspiracy. The government agencies accused could not defend themselves or respond because they were not named as defendants, based on the evidence, the jury concluded that Jowers and others were part of a conspiracy to kill King and awarded the Kings $100. The allegations and the finding of the Memphis jury were later rejected by the United States Department of Justice in 2000 due to lack of evidence, King received frequent death threats due to his prominence in the Civil Rights Movement. He had confronted the risk of death and made that part of his philosophy. He taught that murder could not stop the struggle for equal rights, after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, King told his wife Coretta, This is what is going to happen to me also. I keep telling you, this is a sick society, King traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of striking African American city sanitation workers. The workers had staged a walkout on February 11,1968, to protest unequal wages, at the time, Memphis paid black workers significantly lower wages than whites. Several sanitation workers had been killed on the job due to working conditions. In addition, unlike workers, black workers received no pay if they stayed home during bad weather, consequently, most blacks were compelled to work even in driving rain. On April 3, King returned to Memphis to address a gathering at the Mason Temple and his airline flight to Memphis was delayed by a bomb threat but he made his planned speech. King delivered the speech, now known as the Ive Been to the Mountaintop address, as he neared the close, he referred to the bomb threat, And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, with the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech, on October 14,1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, in the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled Beyond Vietnam. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D. C. to be called the Poor Peoples Campaign, Kings death was followed by riots in many U. S. cities. Ray, who fled the country, was arrested two months later at London Heathrow Airport, King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, hundreds of streets in the U. S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, King was born on January 15,1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther, King had Irish ancestry through his paternal great-grandfather, as well as African ancestry. King was a child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. King sang with his choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. His mother was an accomplished organist and choir leader, and she took him to various churches to sing and he received attention for singing I Want to Be More and More Like Jesus. King later became a member of the choir in his church. King said that his father regularly whipped him until he was fifteen, King saw his fathers proud and fearless protests against segregation, such as King Sr. When King was a child, he befriended a boy whose father owned a business near his familys home. When the boys were six, they started school, King had to attend a school for African Americans, King lost his friend because the childs father no longer wanted the boys to play together. King suffered from depression throughout much of his life, in his adolescent years, he initially felt resentment against whites due to the racial humiliation that he, his family, and his neighbors often had to endure in the segregated South
Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the changed its name to Stax Records in 1961. It was a factor in the creation of Southern soul. Stax also released gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings, while renowned for its output of African-American music, the label was founded by two white siblings and business partners, Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton. It featured several popular ethnically integrated bands and an integrated team of staff and artists unprecedented in that time of racial strife and tension in Memphis. Over the next five years, Bell expanded the labels operations significantly, in order to compete with Staxs main rival, Motown Records in Detroit. During the mid-1970s, a number of factors, including a distribution deal with CBS Records, caused the label to slide into insolvency. In 1977, Fantasy Records acquired the post-1968 Stax catalogue and selected pre-1968 recordings, beginning in 1978, Stax began signing new acts and issuing new material, as well as reissuing previously recorded Stax material. However, by the early 1980s no new material was being issued on the label, after Concord Records acquired Fantasy in 2004, the Stax label was reactivated, and is today used to issue both the 1968–1975 catalog material and new recordings by current R&B and soul performers. Atlantic Records continues to hold the rights to the vast majority of the 1959–1968 Stax material, Stax Records, originally named Satellite Records, was founded in Memphis in 1957 by Jim Stewart, initially operating in a garage. Satellites early releases were country music, rockabilly records or straight pop numbers, in 1958, Stewarts sister Estelle Axton began her financial interest in the company. Taking a considerable risk, she mortgaged her family home to invest $2500 in the company. The company set up a recording studio in Brunswick, Tennessee. Around this time, Stewart was introduced to rhythm and blues music by staff producer Chips Moman. In the summer of year, Satellite released its first record by a rhythm and blues act, Fool in Love, by the Veltones. However, Satellite remained primarily a country and pop label for the year or so. While promoting Fool in Love, Stewart met with Memphis disc jockey and R&B singer Rufus Thomas and it went on to sell between thirty and forty thousand copies, becoming Satellites biggest hit to that time. With the success of Cause I Love You, Stewart made a deal giving Atlantic first choice on releasing Satellite recordings
Ray Charles Robinson, known professionally as Ray Charles, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called Brother Ray and he was often referred to as The Genius. Charles was blind from the age of seven and he pioneered the genre of soul music during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic Records. He also contributed to the integration of music, rhythm and blues and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a record company. Charles cited Nat King Cole as an influence, but his music was also influenced by country, jazz, blues. In the late forties, he became friends with Quincy Jones and their friendship would last till the end of Charless life. Frank Sinatra called him the true genius in show business. In 2002, Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, Billy Joel observed, This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley. Robinson was the son of Bailey Robinson, a laborer, at the time, she was a teenage orphan making a living as a sharecropper. They lived in Greenville, Florida, with Robinsons mother and his wife, the Robinson family had informally adopted Aretha, and she became known as Aretha Robinson. When she, scandalously, became pregnant by Bailey, she briefly left Greenville late in the summer of 1930 to be family members in Albany, Georgia. After that, mother and child returned to Greenville, and Aretha and he was deeply devoted to his mother and later recalled her perseverance, self-sufficiency, and pride as guiding lights in his life. His father abandoned the family, left Greenville, and took another wife elsewhere, in his early years, Charles showed a fondness about mechanical objects and would often watch his neighbors working on their cars and farm machinery. Charles and his mother were always welcome at the Red Wing Cafe, pitman would also care for Rays brother George, to take the burden off Aretha. George drowned in Arethas laundry tub when he was four years old, Charles started to lose his sight at the age of four or five, and was completely blind by the age of seven, apparently as a result of glaucoma. Destitute, uneducated and still mourning the loss of George, Aretha used her connections in the community to find a school that would accept a blind African-American student. Despite his initial protest, Charles attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf, Charles further developed his musical talent at school, and was taught to play the classical piano music of J. S
Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Hampton worked with musicians from Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus. In 1992, he was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Lionel Hampton was born in 1908 in Louisville, Kentucky, and was raised by his mother. Shortly after he was born, he and his moved to her hometown Birmingham. He spent his childhood in Kenosha, Wisconsin, before he and his family moved to Chicago, Illinois. As a youth, Hampton was a member of the Bud Billiken Club, an alternative to the Boy Scouts of America, during the 1920s—while still a teenager—Hampton took xylophone lessons from Jimmy Bertrand and started playing drums. Hampton was raised Roman Catholic, and started out playing fife, Lionel Hampton began his career playing drums for the Chicago Defender Newsboys Band while still a teenager in Chicago. He moved to California in 1927 or 1928, playing drums for the Dixieland Blues-Blowers and he made his recording debut with The Quality Serenaders led by Paul Howard, then left for Culver City and drummed for the Les Hite band at Sebastians Cotton Club. One of his trademarks as a drummer was his ability to do stunts with multiple pairs of such as twirling and juggling without missing a beat. During this period he began practicing on the vibraphone, in 1930 Louis Armstrong came to California and hired the Les Hite band, asking Hampton if he would play vibes on two songs. So began his career as a vibraphonist, popularizing the use of the instrument in the process, invented ten years earlier, the vibraphone is essentially a xylophone with metal bars, a sustain pedal, and resonators equipped with electric-powered fans that add vibrato. While working with the Les Hite band, Hampton also occasionally did some performing with Nat Shilkret, during the early 1930s, he studied music at the University of Southern California. In 1934 he led his own orchestra, and then appeared in the Bing Crosby film Pennies From Heaven alongside Louis Armstrong, also in November 1936, the Benny Goodman Orchestra came to Los Angeles to play the Palomar Ballroom. The Trio and Quartet were among the first racially integrated jazz groups to perform before audiences, while Hampton worked for Goodman in New York, he recorded with several different small groups known as the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, as well as assorted small groups within the Goodman band. In 1940 Hampton left the Goodman organization under amicable circumstances to form his own big band, Hamptons orchestra became popular during the 1940s and early 1950s. His third recording with them in 1942 produced a version of Flying Home. The selection became popular, and so in 1944 Hampton recorded Flyin Home #2 featuring Arnett Cobb, the song went on to become the theme song for all three men. Guitarist Billy Mackel first joined Hampton in 1944, and would perform, in 1947, Hamp performed Stardust at a Just Jazz concert for producer Gene Norman, also featuring Charlie Shavers and Slam Stewart, the recording was issued by Decca
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklins church as a child, in 1960, at the age of 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with such as Respect, A Natural Woman. These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade, in 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria Nessun dorma, at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with A Rose Is Still a Rose, Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and she was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Barbara and Clarence LaVaughn Franklin. Her father, who went by the nickname, C. L. was an itinerant preacher originally from Shelby, Mississippi, while her mother was a piano player. Alongside Franklin, her parents had three children while both C. L. and Barbara had children from outside their marriage. The family relocated to Buffalo, New York when Franklin was two, before her fifth birthday, C. L. Franklin permanently relocated the family to Detroit, Michigan where he took over the pastorship of New Bethel Baptist Church. Franklins mother died on March 7,1952, before Franklins tenth birthday, several women, including Franklins grandmother Rachel, and Mahalia Jackson took turns helping with the children at the Franklin home. During this time, Franklin learned how to play piano by ear, Franklins fathers emotionally driven sermons resulted in him being known as the man with the million-dollar voice and earning thousands of dollars for sermons in various churches across the country. Just after her mothers death, Franklin began singing solos at New Bethel, debuting with the hymn, Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me. Four years later, when Franklin was 14, her father began managing her and he helped his daughter get signed to her first recording deal with J. V. B. Records, where her first album, Songs of Faith, was issued in 1956, two singles were released to gospel radio stations including Never Grow Old and Precious Lord, Take My Hand. Franklin sometimes traveled with The Caravans and The Soul Stirrers during this time and developed a crush on Sam Cooke, after turning 18, Franklin confided to her father that she aspired to follow Sam Cooke to record pop music. Serving as her manager, C. L. agreed to the move and helped to produce a demo that soon was brought to the attention of Columbia Records. Franklin was signed as a five-percent artist, during this period, Franklin would be coached by choreographer Cholly Atkins to prepare for her pop performances
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D. C. next to the National Mall. The Memorial covers four acres and includes the Stone of Hope, the memorial opened to the public on August 22,2011, after more than two decades of planning, fund-raising, and construction. The national memorial is Americas 395th unit in the National Park Service, the official address of the monument,1964 Independence Avenue, S. W. commemorates the year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law. Although this is not the first memorial to an African American in Washington, King is the first African American honored with a memorial on or near the National Mall and only the fourth non-President to be memorialized in such a way. The King Memorial is administered by the National Park Service, although during his life he was monitored by the FBI for presumed communist sympathies, King is now presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism. At the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, King imagined an end to racial inequality in his I Have a Dream speech and this speech has been canonized as one of the greatest pieces of American oratory. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience. At the time of his death, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War. King was backing the Memphis Sanitation Strike and organizing a mass occupation of Washington, D. C. – the Poor Peoples Campaign – when he was killed in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4,1968. King remained involved with the fraternity after the completion of his studies, in 1968, after Kings assassination, Alpha Phi Alpha proposed erecting a permanent memorial to King in Washington, D. C. The fraternitys efforts gained momentum in 1986, after Kings birthday was designated a national holiday, in 1998, Congress authorized the fraternity to establish a foundation—the Washington, D. C. National Memorial Project Foundation—to manage the memorials fundraising and design, in 1999, the United States Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission approved the site location for the memorial. The memorials design, by ROMA Design Group, a San Francisco-based architecture firm, was selected out of 900 candidates from 52 countries. On December 4,2000, a marble and bronze plaque was laid by Alpha Phi Alpha to dedicate the site where the memorial was to be built, soon thereafter, a full-time fundraising team began the fundraising and promotional campaign for the memorial. A ceremonial groundbreaking for the memorial was held on November 13,2006, in August 2008, the foundations leaders estimated the memorial would take 20 months to complete with a total cost of $120 million USD. The figure also includes $10 million in matching funds provided by the United States Congress, in October 2009, the memorials final project was approved by federal agencies and a building permit was issued. Construction began in December 2009 and was expected to take 20 months to complete, the foundation conducted a press tour on December 1,2010, as the Stone of Hope was nearing completion. At that time only $108 million of the $120 million project cost had been raised, the street address for the memorial is 1964 Independence Avenue SW in Washington, D. C
Nashville is the capital of the U. S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in the central part of the state. The city is a center for the music, healthcare, publishing, banking and transportation industries and it is known as a center of the country music industry, earning it the nickname Music City, U. S. A. Since 1963, Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government which includes six municipalities in a two-tier system. Nashville is governed by a mayor, vice-mayor, and 40-member Metropolitan Council, thirty-five of the members are elected from single-member districts, five are elected at-large. Reflecting the citys position in government, Nashville is home to the Tennessee Supreme Courts courthouse for Middle Tennessee. According to 2015 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, the balance population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Nashville, was 654,610. The 2015 population of the entire 13-county Nashville metropolitan area was 1,830,345, the 2015 population of the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Columbia combined statistical area, a larger trade area, was 1,951,644. The town of Nashville was founded by James Robertson, John Donelson, and it was named for Francis Nash, the American Revolutionary War hero. Nashville quickly grew because of its location, accessibility as a port on the Cumberland River, a tributary of the Ohio River. By 1800, the city had 345 residents, including 136 African American slaves and 14 free blacks, in 1806, Nashville was incorporated as a city and became the county seat of Davidson County, Tennessee. In 1843, the city was named the permanent capital of the state of Tennessee, by 1860, when the first rumblings of secession began to be heard across the South, antebellum Nashville was a prosperous city. The citys significance as a port made it a desirable prize as a means of controlling important river. In February 1862, Nashville became the first state capital to fall to Union troops, the state was occupied by Union troops for the duration of the war. Within a few years after the Civil War, the Nashville chapter of the Ku Klux Klan was founded by Confederate veteran John W. Morton, meanwhile, the city had reclaimed its important shipping and trading position and developed a solid manufacturing base. The post–Civil War years of the late 19th century brought new prosperity to Nashville and these healthy economic times left the city with a legacy of grand classical-style buildings, which can still be seen around the downtown area. Circa 1950 the state approved a new city charter that provided for the election of city council members from single-member districts. This change was supported because at-large voting diluted the minority populations political power in the city and they could seldom gain a majority of the population to support a candidate of their choice
McKissack & McKissack
McKissack & McKissack is an American architecture and engineering firm based for many years in Nashville, Tennessee, and now based in New York City and Washington, D. C. Founded in 1905, it was the first African-American-owned architectural firm in the United States and is the oldest minority-owned architecture, the firm was founded by brothers Moses McKissack III and Calvin Lunsford McKissack, natives of Pulaski, Tennessee. Their father and grandfather were trained builders, Moses McKissack entered the architecture trade by working as an apprentice to a builder in Pulaski who hired him in 1890 to assist with architectural designs, drawings and construction work. His formal education was obtained at the Pulaski Colored High School, Calvin McKissack was educated at Barrows School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Fisk University in Nashville, which he attended from 1905 to 1909. Both brothers obtained architectural degrees through a correspondence course, between 1895 and 1905, Moses McKissack built houses in Decatur, Alabama, and Mount Pleasant and Columbia, Tennessee. In 1905, he received a commission to build a new house for the dean of architecture and he opened his first architectural office in Nashville and quickly picked up additional jobs designing and building other homes in the West End. The firms first major project was design of the Carnegie Library on the Fisk University campus, by 1920, Moses McKissack had acquired design clients throughout Nashville. Between 1918 and 1922 he designed more than one dozen residences in Nashville and Belle Meade, in 1915, he returned to Tennessee, becoming superintendent of industries and a teacher of architectural drawing at the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School. After Tennessee instituted a law for architects in 1921, the McKissack brothers became two of the first registered architects in the state. After they passed easily, the state authorities balked at giving them licenses, in 1922, Calvin McKissack resigned his job with the teachers organization and the brothers established the partnership of McKissack & McKissack. In 1924, the National Baptist Convention, U. S. A, after the building was completed in 1925, the McKissack firm moved its offices into that building, where they remained for many years. In 1927 the McKissacks designed the library of Tennessee State University in Nashville. Around 1940, the firm began to expand outside Tennessee, architectural licensing boards in some other states were skeptical of the qualifications of black architects. Tennessee authorities responded to their concerns with a statement that McKissack and McKissack was, the firm received licenses from Alabama in 1941 and from Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi in 1943. In 1942, the McKissack won a $5.7 million U. S. federal government contract to design and build Tuskegee Army Airfield, home to the Tuskegee Airmens 99th Pursuit Squadron, in Tuskegee, Alabama. At the time, this was the largest federal contract ever awarded to a black-owned company, Calvin McKissack remained with the firm until his death in 1968. William DeBerry McKissack, the youngest son of Moses III, then succeeded his uncle as president of the firm. After suffering a stroke, he retired due to illness, and his wife, Leatrice Buchanan McKissack, became executive officer. C