Yesterday, I wrote that the only relative of mine in Memphis who agreed to accompany to downtown on Sunday July 2nd was my 13-year-old little nephew.
We made to the site where MLK has been assassinated 38 years ago but were in bad lucks: Lorraine Motel was in backlight condition for photography, and no attendant of National Civil Rights Museum available for help.
Even though my little guide confirmed the fateful Room 306, he could not identify which one of the two white rusty cars belongs to Dr. King. Posted them here, I am asking you to give me some info on the relationship of the 2 vehicles parked in front of 'Room 306': the '59 Dodge Royal on left with massive, olive-green tail fins, with license plate 'EX-8074' and the '68 Cadillac on right, with license plate 'II-1598'.
On 4-3-1968 MLK traveled to Memphis to again lend his support to sanitation workers, who had been on strike since Feb 12.
King was the recent recipient of the ’64 Nobel Peace Prize. In early 1963 King led a march in Birmingham that resulted in widespread arrests of marchers over a month-long period. In 1965 first US combat troops set foot to Vietnam (after N Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the US Destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin, resulting in a Congressional resolution allowing President Johnson to provide military assistance to Vietnam) followed by a second attack by N Vietnam on Aug. 4, resulting in US bombing of N Vietnam. By early 1967 America was a nation divided on the war, with widespread resistance to the draft. Children from affluent families (like Bill Clinton) frequently avoided the draft, but the poor were in the frontline, and no one was poorer or more disenfranchised than black youths. It was when MLK’s speeches were affecting black troop morale in Vietnam. He had announced he would lead a massive march on Washington the following spring and speculation went on as the apostle of non-violence would ask the black soldiers in Vietnam to lay down their arms.
On 04-23-1967, James Earl Ray climbed into the bread box and successfully escaped from ‘Jefferson City’ Missouri State Prison. Same day when King arrived to Memphis, Ray also came to town with his 30.06-rifle. The next day, Martin Luther King Jr. had just a few hours to live when Ray checked in 422 ½ Main Street.
On 04-04-1968, at 6:01 p.m., King stepped out on a balcony of this Lorraine Motel and was speaking to a friend below him when a shot rang out and he fell mortally wounded. He was gunned down by one bullet and died later at a hospital.
Ray traveled from Memphis to Atlanta, then to Montreal, Canada, then to London, then to Portugal, then back to London where he was arrested at Heathrow Airport by Scotland Yard.
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Yuanclarkson (38) 2006-07-08 14:35
Sorry for your loss: you have been far behind those who also came to this fateful site by Air Force One. On 6-30, President George Bush, the first lady, and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi were touring the same balcony-walkway of the Lorraine Motel shown in your picture =)
Regarding the identity of the cars, I was only able to track the Cadillac on right side. Not much, but hope it will help:
1/- Near the car in the parking lot directly below the balcony, waited James Bevel, Chauncey Eskridge (SCLC lawyer), Jesse Jackson, Hosea Williams, Andrew Young, and Solomon Jones, Jr. (the driver of the loaned white Cadillac).(Source)
2/- A white Cadillac remains parked outside the Lorraine Motel as it was the day Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot on the balcony outside his second-floor room. (Source)
3/- On the night of April 4th 1968, someone was waiting opposite the windows of the Lorraine Motel, in downtown Memphis.
In front of the motel, a big white Cadillac was parked; it was the car in which the Rev. Martin Luther King was being driven round, as he traveled through the southern states, speaking to audiences in towns and cities, promoting the cause of non-violence and civil rights. (Source)
ChristineLe (59) 2006-07-08 17:24
Hi Mr. Thanh:
We are on vacations in Cancun, Mexico — where many travelers are talking about a sneak-away to Cuba :)
Just checking your daily photo to read the note, and we are reading this 38-year-old wound with much attention.
nicol_g (859) 2006-07-08 18:16
I appreciate very much your today composition! For teaching me so much... Your note is as usual excellent composed, well documented. I'm not always able to share a pertinent opinion about your compositions (and especially the messages in them) but I'm always willing to learn.
About this image: I appreciate that you managed to include in the frame both the door and the vehicles: two "key" elements in the comp.
Best wishes and a nice weekend!
rafid76 (0) 2007-01-16 6:13
nice photo, i myself just attended the mlk day in detroit and posted a photo. i really like how you fill the frame with all that we need to take ourselves back into this sad history. good exposure level.