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Martin Luther King Jr.
Updated: 11/19/2020
Martin Luther King Jr.
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  • "We've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through."
  • April 1968, before Martin Luther King Jr. assassination...
  • On 1 February 1968, two Memphis garbage collectors, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death by a malfunctioning truck. They did nothing about it...
  • Conditions for black sanitation workers worsened when Henry Leob became mayor in January 1968.
  • I AM A MAN
  • On 11 February, more than 700 men attended a union meeting and unanimously decided to strike. The strike might have ended on 22 February, when the City Council, pressured by a sit-in of sanitation workers and their supporters, voted to recognize the union and recommended a wage increase.
  • Keep Your Money!
  • King himself arrived on 18 March to address a crowd of about 25,00-the largest indoor gathering the civil rights movement had ever seen!
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson charged Undersecretary of Labor James Reynolds with negotiating a solution and ending the strike. Negotiators finally reached a deal on 16 April, allowing the City Council to recognize the union and guaranteeing a better wage.
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