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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on 55th anniversary of his assassination

From the National Civil Rights Museum to a special event with Teamsters Local 667, the community gathered to remember Dr. King's legacy.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Across the Mid-South and the world, people honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 55th anniversary of his death.

National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis is hosting special events all day as part of the remembrance - “Remembering MLK: The Man. The Movement. The Moment.”

During a virtual event Tuesday morning, Dr. King’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, spoke about her father's lasting power, and his unfinished business 55 years after his assassination.

"As we think about this day, I think it's important that we always remember where Dr. King was focusing his attention because as you look at the triple evils that he talked about, that being poverty, militarism and racism, we have made little progress,” she said.

The museum also held a commemorative service, and live streamed it for people everywhere to join in.

Each year, the Museum commemorates the tragic event that occurred on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in 1968. This year’s event features speakers, special performances, fraternal tribute, and changing the balcony wreath with a moment of silence at 6:01 pm Central when Dr. King was slain.

“Dr. King’s life and legacy continue to resonate with us 55 years after his death,” said Dr. Noelle Trent, the museum’s Director of Interpretation, Collections, and Education. “We are honored to have civil rights pioneer Xernona Clayton join us as we commemorate Dr. King’s life through prose and music,” she said.

New museum exhibit

A multimedia exhibition, Waddell, Withers, and Smith: A Requiem for King, also opened Tuesday. The museum said the exhibition features “three Memphis-born artists whose work is considered the artistic reaction to the assassination.”

MLK made honorary Teamster

Also Tuesday, Teamsters Local 667 and other union groups honored Dr. King as an honorary Teamsters member.

During the 1968 sanitation strike in Memphis, Teamsters and other organizing groups marched alongside Dr. King to demand better pay and working conditions.

The Teamsters said those challenges remain today for Memphis' current sanitation workers.

Credit: WATN

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