44 Years to the 44th President
Connecting Our Past with America’s
Historic Future

School of Journalism & Mass Communications sends students to the Inauguration of the first African-American President through the historic landmarks of the Civil Rights South.

"Education on Wheels" Journey Across America 
 KTVU Ch. 2/ SJSU Project           SJSU on CNN                                                                                          Student Profiles           HOME

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"He led a mass struggle for racial equality
that doomed segregation and
changed America forever."


Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King
was shot and killed by a sniper on April 4, 1968,
at 6:01 p.m. as he stepped onto the balcony
outside the Motel Lorraine
in Memphis, Tennessee.

See more of the original New York Times story

A small-time thief named James Earl Ray shot Dr. King from the bathroom
of the flophouse across from where King was staying. Allegedly,
Ray balanced on the edge of a bathtub, rested his rifle on the window sill,
and fired a single shot that with trained-sniper perfection entered King in the head. No witness saw Ray shoot, although one claimed he saw a man
leaving the bathroom around that time. A bag was found in front of a store
near the rooming house, and the bag had a rifle sticking out of it.
The rifle bore James Earl Ray's fingerprints.

Ray died in 1998. Ray's case had been getting a lot of attention
from Judge Joe Brown's court in Memphis.

The family of King has now publicly stated that they think Ray did not kill King. Coretta Scott King has asked President Bill Clinton and Attorney General
Janet Reno to form a "truth commission" patterned after the one in South
Africa to encourage those with evidence to come forward without fear of prosecution.  This information from: REAL HISTORY ARCHIVES

An Eyewitness to Civil Rights History

The Reverend Samuel Kyles was 34 years old when he worked
with Martin Luther King. On April 4th, 1968 he was standing
next to Dr. King when he was assassinated at the Loraine Motel.
San Jose State University students on the Inauguration Trip
did their first interview with Rev. Kyles Saturday, January 10th.

Time Magazine Story about Rev. Kyles

See SJSU student eyewitness interview & story with Rev. Kyles
in Memphis - To be posted on the KTVU-Ch. 2 website soon.


The American Civil Rights Movement refers to the reform movements in the United States aimed at abolishing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring
suffrage in Southern states. This article covers the phase
of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South. By 1966, the emergence of the Black Power
Movement, which lasted roughly from 1966 to 1975,
enlarged the aims of the Civil Rights Movement to include
racial dignity, economic and political self-sufficiency, and freedom from oppression by whitesFrom: Wikipedia

National Civil Rights Museum
Memphis, Tennessee

These not for profit educational web pages were produced by SJSU Journalism Professor Bob Rucker,
co-organizer of the SJSU "Education on Wheels" effort to send media students to the Inauguration. The goal of this educational project is to provide all students
 with a better appreciation of the thinking, efforts and struggles of the civil rights movement which helped pave the way for this special moment in American history.


 TOP OF THIS PAGE             Inauguration Trip HOME PAGE             National Civil Rights Museum