Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, (MLK) American civil rights pioneer and leader, lived from January 15, 1929 to April 4, 1968. King was shot and killed in an assassination by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee.
Ray used a Remington Model 760 Gamemaster .30-06-caliber rifle with a Redfield 2x-7x scope to shoot MLK while King stood on the second floor balcony at the Lorraine Motel.
King’s death provoked widespread sadness and outrage and is widely considered one of the saddest days in American history.
MLK was first buried at South-View Cemetery then moved to a site near Ebenezer Baptist Church.
MLK is buried along with his wife Coretta Scott King in a crypt at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (“The King Center”) in Atlanta, Georgia.
To visit the site where MLK is buried, visitors should go to 449 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA.
King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis. After that his body was transported to R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home, operated by Robert Lewis Jr..
At the funeral home, King laid in state in a open bronze casket. King was dressed in a black suit and the wound in his throat from the bullet that killed him was not visible.
King’s body was then transported to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Ebenezer Baptist was King’s original home church.
A private service for King was held at Ebenezer Baptist, led by Reverend Ralph Abernathy. Abernathy said King’s death was “one of the darkest hours of mankind.”
King’s body was then loaded onto a wooden farm wagon pulled by two mules named Belle and Ada and taken to Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Over 100,000 people were in attendance at King’s public funeral at Morehouse.
King was eulogized there by Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse.
King was buried at South-View Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.
MLK Body Moved In 1970
King’s body was kept at South-View from 1968 until 1970.
The body was then removed on January 14, 1970, and taken to a new site near Ebenezer Baptist Church. Coretta Scott King and her four children were present when the body was moved.
The body was moved at night. Coretta Scott King said this was done “as a matter of taste and dignity.”
MLK, Coretta Scott King Buried At King Center Tomb
The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (aka The King Center) was established by Coretta Scott King in 1968.
Coretta Scott King died on January 30, 2006.
She and MLK are buried in a tomb surrounded by a reflecting pool at the King Center.