Old Man River:  History Along the MississippiApril 19-November 2, 2003

Man vs. Man

Civil Rights Achievements and
Martin Luther King Jr.

Bald eagle and alligator crossing sign
The Upper vs. The Lower Mississippi
Civil Rights exhibit section
Artifacts and images on loan from many sources, including:
~ James Hicks, Iowa City IA
~ National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The struggle for racial equality included several chapters that took place on or near the Mississippi: the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi, the death of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the 1940s and 1950s, desegregation of the armed forces and schools ignited the Civil Rights movement. Propelled to prominence was a charismatic minister named Martin Luther King, Jr.

King's "I Have A Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial became the movement's central vision. In 1964 King was awarded the Nobel Prize, and soon the Civil Rights Act of 1965 was passed. King was at the center of it all - the most loved and the most hated American of this turbulent decade.

The end came in Memphis, Tennessee, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. On April 4, 1968, King was shot through the neck and died shortly thereafter. His assassin was a petty criminal named James Earl Ray who first pled guilty, but later recanted his confession.

With incomparable oratory and boundless energy, Martin Luther King, Jr. changed American history. Through non-violent means, he forced the U.S. Constitution to honor its promises to all Americans.

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Did you know … ?
The very night before his murder as King was addressing a rally, he stated, "I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."

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This section "Man vs. Man" has the following related pages:
Civil Rights Achievements

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Man vs. Man
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Man vs. Nature
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