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On April 3rd 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr arrived in Memphis to march with striking sanitation workers.  That evening he gave his last speech and sermon famously known as I Have Seen the Mountaintop

As he was preparing to leave for dinner on April 4, 1968, he stepped out on the balcony of his room, number 306, of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN to acknowledge some friends.  Solomon Jones suggested to King that he should get his coat as the evening was getting cool.  “Okay,” was King’s response, he was killed an instant later by a bullet shattering his right cheek, passing through his neck, and embedding itself in his shoulder.  An ambulance was called and despite the efforts of medical personnel he passed away at 7:05p.m.

The Springfield & Central Illinois African American Museum, in conjunction with several community organizations, have planned a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination Dr. King and to recognize his many contributions to all of us.

In cooperation with the Illinois State Museum, we have developed an exhibit on Dr. King.  The grand opening of this exhibit will be January 4, 2018.  The exhibit will be housed at the Museum at 1440 Monument Ave.  Viewing of the exhibit will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The community is invited to come to pay homage to this great civil rights leader.  The exhibit and program are free but donations are encouraged.  For further information, please contact Doris Bailey at the museum at 217-391-6323 or by email at  You may also visit our website at or our Facebook page for more details on this exhibit and other programs planned throughout the year.