Historic marker at airport honors MLK's last flight

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A historical marker honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was unveiled at Memphis International Airport on Monday.

The marker, unveiled one day before the 49th anniversary of King's death, commemorates King's final flight.

"This is Memphis declaring that we are going to carry on in the name of Martin Luther King to put an end to poverty in this community," Andrew Young said. Young was a close confidant to MLK. He was on the flight to Memphis with MLK in 1968.

King's final flight arrived in Memphis on April 3, 1968—one day before he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel.

On hand to reveal King's marker were CEO/founder of Operation HOPE John Hope Bryant, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, and Reverend Jesse Jackson.

"Fighting to get health care for poor people and jobs that pay and living wages and education for all of our children and jobs and fewer jails, so we come here to memorialize his vision and keep hope alive," Jackson said.

Monday's service marked the beginning of a yearlong observance leading up to the 50th anniversary of King's death. Many more events are planned for Tuesday. Those events are listed below:

  • 9 a.m.: Breakfast: MLK50 Faith and Community Leaders Breakfast and Teach-In at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 North Bellevue, facilitated by the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, leader of Moral Mondays and president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP.
  • 12 p.m.: MLK 50 Public rally: MLK50 Public Rally, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, with Rev. Dr. William Barber II as keynote speaker;
  • 2 p.m.: La Rose Elementary Marches in Solidarity: In solidarity with Fight For 15 and the Movement for Black Lives, the students of La Rose Elementary will be marching around the school and demonstrating on the lawn facing Crump Blvd. to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and continue his work under the banner of the Poor People's Campaign.
  • 3:15 p.m.: MLK 50 Commemoration: 6:01 Commemoration from the Balcony of the Lorraine Motel at the National Civil Rights Museum featuring keynote speaker, Gwendolyn E. Boyd, social justice activist and 22nd  National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Additional remarks to be offered by Museum President, Terri Lee Freeman, Lee Saunders, National AFSCME, Indigenous Community Activist Kathy Sanchez of the National Council of Elders, Rev. Dr. William Barber, and Rev. Dr. Rosalyn Nichols.

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