Civil Rights Era card stock sign or placard, "HONOR KING – END RACISM" – carried in Memphis, Tennessee April 8, 1968, four days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during a memorial march led by King's widow and children. Printed by Allied Printing of Memphis. Retains neck cord. 21 1/2" x 14". Provenance: Memphis, Tennessee estate. Note: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot to death on Thursday, April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his second floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He had arrived the day before in preparation for a march, scheduled for the following Monday, to support Memphis sanitation workers striking for better safety standards and a decent wage. King's assassination did not stop the march. On April 8, it went on as scheduled, but with King's widow, Coretta Scott King, and three of their four children leading thousands of people (estimates range from 10,000-42,000) through the streets of downtown Memphis. The atmosphere was tense, and Mrs. King received some criticism for engaging in activism so soon after her husband's death, but commented: "I believe that this nation can be transformed into a society of love and justice, peace and brotherhood where all men can really be brothers." King was buried the following day, April 9, in Atlanta. Surprisingly few of these placards, designed for the string to be worn around a marcher's neck, have survived. An identical one is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. CONDITION: Full crease across lower third of placard, 5 1/2" stain affecting words "King" and "End" in center, 5" water stain lower right, other small scattered stains and creases, overall toning.
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