Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

In Focus

Tributes honor Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years after his assassination

Events in Memphis, Washington and Atlanta remembered the day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in Memphis 50 years ago.

 / Updated 14 PHOTOS

Marchers commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee.

The civil rights leader was standing on the balcony of the old Lorraine Motel when he was shot on April 4, 1968. He died at a hospital at age 39.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
  • Share

People gather on the National Mall in Washington to mark the anniversary.

Eric Thayer / Reuters
  • Share

A wreath-laying ceremony honors the anniversary at the MLK Memorial in Washington.

Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images
  • Share

Children from Promise Academy Spring Hill hold "I Am A Man" signs that reference the signs carried by striking black sanitation workers in 1968. 

King came to Memphis in 1968 to support the workers who were protesting against low pay and dangerous working conditions.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images
  • Share

Rev. Al Sharpton is flanked by Bishop Charles Blake and Martin Luther King III as they lead a march in Memphis.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
  • Share

The Ebenezer Baptist Church choir observes a moment of silence during a ceremony marking the anniversary before a game between the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, King's hometown.
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
  • Share

A woman holds a poster of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
  • Share

Marchers carry "I Am A Man" signs on Beale Street in Memphis.

Rick Musacchio / EPA
  • Share

An overcast sky looms over the memorial near the National Mall.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA
  • Share

Martin Luther King III, the son of Martin Luther King Jr., with his wife, Arndrea Waters King, and daughter, Yolanda Renee King, before speaking at the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ in Memphis.

The church is the site where his father delivered his famous "Mountaintop" speech on the eve of his assassination.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images
  • Share

Attendees sing during a ceremony honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at Mason Temple. 

Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
  • Share

Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks with family members Tuesday on the balcony outside room 306 at the Lorraine Motel.

King was assassinated as he stepped onto the balcony. Jackson was part of King's entourage on the day. The motel is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
  • Share

Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, where King spent his last night, is now part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
  • Share

Danny Williams helps raise the American flag at the Lorraine Motel on Tuesday.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: His life in pictures

Joe Raedle / Getty Images
  • Share
1/14

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.