News-Antique.com - May 18,2009 - Santa Fe, May 18, 2009 -- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., stepped outside onto the balcony of his Lorraine Motel room in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968 planning to have dinner before his speech.
Shots rang out. At first it sounded like a firecracker or a car’s backfire.
But Rev. King’s body dropped to the floor of the balcony.
Rev. Ralph Abernathy rushed out of the hotel room, bent down and saw a huge red wound on King’s right jaw. He gathered King in his arms and patted him on his left cheek.
An hour later in St. Joseph's Hospital, Martin Luther King was pronounced dead. He was 39-years-old. The man was dead. The message lived on.
Joseph Louw was making a documentary film about King at the time of his death. He was staying on the second floor of the motel when the fatal shots rang out.
He grabbed his camera and started taking photos as the chaos unfolded around him. Louw was the only journalist on the scene and snapped the classic shot of King’s companions pointing in the direction of the shooter.
A copy of that photo taken moments after King was struck down went on the block at Swann Galleries, New York, on Feb 26.
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