(CBS) — Forty-seven years have passed since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he counseled striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn.
The assassination, shortly after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, was an indelible moment in American history, but one that few can remember the way those who were with him did.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Weekend Warmup Continues
The Rev. Jesse Jackson was among them. At the time, Jackson worked for King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and said the civil rights leader feared that he was being passed by those who questioned his non-violent approach and believed the time was right to become more confrontational.
Jackson says Dr. King hoped to help achieve a settlement of the sanitation strike, go to Washington, and stage a massive rally that could connect with anti-Vietnam war protesters for a War on Poverty. He also spoke of going to jail and beginning a fast to the death with the hope that more militant leaders such as H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael and Floyd McKissick would join with him, to bring unity back to the civil rights movement.READ MORE: COVID In Chicago: Glitches Cause Concerns for Those Who Have Signed Up For COVID-19 Vaccine At United Center
He said King was not feeling well the night before the shooting, but was persuaded to address a gathering in Memphis that was his last before being murdered, when he delivered the impromptu comments that have become known as “the Mountaintop speech.”
Jackson said that the next evening, when King and his entourage prepared to go to dinner, King told Jackson he should return to his room and don a tie. Moments later, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, he was shot.MORE NEWS: Senate Passes President Biden's $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill; What Does It Mean For You?
Dr. King was 36. Unrest rocked the nation after his death.