"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.