2020: So Long, and Farewell

Well, 2020 was a year to remember, to say the least. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the past, so we can put it behind us and really look forward to the future.

Australian Wildfires

The world should have known 2020 would be intense on January 1. Already on that date, Australia was in the middle of one of the worst fire seasons in the country’s history. No region was spared, with 80 percent of the population impacted, more than 500 million animals killed, and 34 people killed.

Fires even threatened urban centers such as Sydney and the capital, Canberra. The smoke was so bad in the capital city that residents were forced indoors and could not enjoy the summer weather at places like the famous Commonwealth Park.

Commonwealth Park (Google Maps)
Commonwealth Park

Impeachment of President Donald Trump

For much of 2019, the US news focused on the pending impeachment of President Trump. In December, the US House of Representatives voted to approve articles of impeachment against the President.

In January 2020, the trial began in the Senate. However, the President was acquitted of all charges, on a nearly party-line vote. Nonetheless, the indictment by the House will serve as a black mark on President Trump’s legacy, and will be one of the biggest stories of 2020.

US Capitol Building (Google Maps)
US Capitol Building

Kobe Bryant

On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant boarded a helicopter with his oldest daughter on their way to a basketball camp. Not long after takeoff, the helicopter crashed, killing all nine passengers on board. Bryant’s death shook the nation, as he was only 41, and was still very involved in basketball, charities, and most importantly, being a father to four girls.

Kobe and his family lived in the exclusive Pelican Crest community in Newport Coast. The custom-built house with views of the coast has nearly 16,000 square feet of living space spread out over four floors.

After his death, fans gathered outside the community’s gates and left flowers and other items in a makeshift memorial.

Kobe Bryant's House (Google Maps)
Kobe Bryant's House

Harvey Weinstein

After years of speculation and rumor, Harvey Weinstein was finally charged with committing sex crimes against women in 2018. The trial commenced in January 2020, and on February 24, he was convicted, and later sentenced to 23 years in prison.

For the next 23 years, Harvey Weinstein will call the Wende Correctional Facility in upstate New York his home.

Wende Correctional Facility (Google Maps)
Wende Correctional Facility

Weinstein sold his house in the Hamptons in 2018 for $10 million, less than what he paid for it six years earlier. This is just one of many properties he sold following his arrest.

Harvey Weinstein's House (Former) (Google Maps)
Harvey Weinstein's House (Former)

Covid-19 Pandemic

The thing on everyone’s mind for most of the year has been the spread of Covid-19 throughout the world, causing a global pandemic.

While no one knows where the virus initially started, some of the earliest reported cases spread at or near a wet, or seafood, market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. It was first diagnosed in late winter 2019. Thousands quickly fell sick and many died, indicating the virus was extremely contagious, causing global concern.

Huanan Seafood Market (Google Maps)
Huanan Seafood Market

The virus came to the United States in early 2020, and hit metropolitan centers very hard. New York City was the epicenter of the initial outbreak. The city was so overwhelmed that they even prepared a makeshift hospital at the Javits Convention Center. Fortunately, it was only used for a short time before the first wave subsided in the area.

'Jacob K. Javits Convention Center' by I. M. Pei (Google Maps)
'Jacob K. Javits Convention Center' by I. M. Pei

Death of George Floyd

On May 25, George Floyd was killed while in police custody outside a convenience store in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He had allegedly passed a counterfeit bill.

Site where George Floyd was murdered (StreetView)
Site where George Floyd was murdered

The frustration with Floyd’s murder and continued police brutality and racial discrimination boiled over into massive protests, riots, and demonstrations across the country. Government leaders embraced the protests in many places, including Washington, D.C., where the city renamed the plaza outside the White House as Black Lives Matter Plaza.

"Black Lives Matter - Defund the police" on 16th. Street NW (Google Maps)
"Black Lives Matter - Defund the police" on 16th. Street NW

Beiruit Explosion

In the late afternoon of August 4, a large explosion occurred in downtown Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The blast was caused by improperly stored ammonium nitrate that had been stored at the city’s port for several years.

The blast was so strong it was felt in neighboring countries, killed at least 204 people, and wounded more than 6,500. It caused more than $15 billion in damage, and both the cleanup and investigations are still ongoing.

Building Explosion, Beirut, Lebanon (4 AUG 2020) (Google Maps)
Building Explosion, Beirut, Lebanon (4 AUG 2020)

Kamala Harris

On August 11, Kamala Harris made history. Joe Biden selected her as his running mate, making her the first African American, first Asian American, and third woman to be a part of a major party presidential ticket. She again made history on November 3, when she and Joe Biden were elected to lead the US for the next four years.

A current Senator for California, she maintains a home in the tony LA neighborhood of Brentwood, as her husband is a famous Hollywood attorney.

Kamala Harris' House (Google Maps)
Kamala Harris' House

West Coast Wildfires

It wasn’t enough that much of Australia was on fire earlier this year; the western US also experienced one of the worst fire seasons on record as well. More than 37 people were killed in fires that spread across California, Oregon, and Washington states.

Fires raged across the west for most of the summer and much of the fall. Fires destroyed thousands of homes, including in Shaver Lake, California, where movies such as Captain America had been filmed.

Shaver Lake ("Captain Marvel") (StreetView)
Shaver Lake ("Captain Marvel")

Alex Trebeck

American game show host Alex Trebek announced in 2018 that he had pancreatic cancer, and passed away on November 8, 2020 from the disease. The 80 year old had become a beloved American cultural icon as the host of Jeopardy! He hosted the show for 37 years.

Trebek and his wife had a 10,000 square foot mansion in Los Angeles, but his wealth and fame didn’t stop him from doing everyday things like taking out the trash, which he was seen doing on a regular basis, even when he was fighting cancer.

Trebek set an example for all to follow. In a pre-recorded show that aired after his death, Trebek gave words of encouragement for the world, saying “There are more and more people extending helpful hands to do a kindness to their neighbors, and that’s a good thing.. Keep the faith. We’re going to get through all this and we are going to be a better society because of it.”

Alex Trebek's House (Google Maps)
Alex Trebek's House

Covid-19 Vaccines are Rolled Out

In what might be a sign that 2021 will be better than 2020, multiple vaccines for the Covid-19 virus were approved for use in the US and other countries in December.

On December 10th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave “emergency use authorization” to Pfizer’s vaccine, and on December 18th, they gave the same authorization to Moderna’s vaccine. These two vaccines will help people all over the world by giving them immunity to Covid-19.

The work at the FDA in 2020 has been a bright spot in what has otherwise been a difficult year for many.

Food and Drug Administration (Google Maps)
Food and Drug Administration

Here’s to hoping the vaccines will help and that Alex Trebek was right and that 2021 will be more rewarding, and less newsworthy, than 2020. Happy New Year!

 

This Month in History: October

There’s a lot going on in the world these days, and sometimes it can seem like things that happen now are more important than anything in the past. It’s nice to look back and see what important things have occurred in the past to make our world better, and what things have happened that we’ve survived.

Let’s look at some of the things that happened in Octobers past.

Panama Canal Returned to Panama

The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel, bridging the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the narrow isthmus of Panama in Central America. The United States began the project in order to cut the travel time from the East Coast to the West Coast by 6,000 miles.

The United States constructed the canal and maintained control for more than 60 years. But, after much protest by Panamanians wanting local control over the canal, the two countries agreed to give control of the canal back to Panama, starting October 1, 1979.

Panama Canal (Google Maps)
Panama Canal

Uganda Gains Independence from Great Britain

The people who live in what is now Uganda in Africa were first exposed to European traders and missionaries in the 1860s and 1870s, when they came looking for the source of the Nile river and trade routes. Shortly thereafter, Ugandan people were put under the “Ugandan Protectorate” by Great Britain.

This protectorate status lasted until October 9, 1962, when under Queen Elizabeth II, the country was granted independence and embraced as part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Since that time, the country has been independent, but often experiences political unrest and struggle for power.

Parliament of Uganda (Google Maps)
Parliament of Uganda

Nikita Khrushchev Pounds his Shoe at United Nations

After World War II, a “cold” war broke out between democratic countries led by the United States, and communist countries led by the Soviet Union. At a meeting of the heads of state of the members of the United Nations on October 12, 1960, the delegate from the Philippines was speaking out against communism, which enraged Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union. According to reports, he was so furious he removed his shoe and banged it on his table. This famous outburst was one of many, including the leader claiming that the Soviets would “bury” the Americans and win the war of global competition.

United Nations Headquarters Building (Google Maps)
United Nations Headquarters Building

Yale University is Founded

Fewer than 100 years after settling the area, colonists in Connecticut founded the first college in their colony, and the fourth in the entire colonies on October 16, 1701. The school formally changed its name to Yale College in 1718 after a benefactor. Since that time, Yale University has become one of the premier educational institutions in the world, and has educated five US presidents, as well as countless political leaders and business icons.

Yale (Google Maps)
Yale

Battle of Saratoga

The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 helped to turn the tide of the Revolution. British General John Burgoyne had a strategy to divide and conquer the American army, but he failed in two attempts in September and October, and was forced to surrender to American General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777.

While this was just one of many battles, it showed French leaders that the American upstarts had a chance against the might of their enemy, the British, and joined the war on the side of the Americans. Their involvement was a critical point in helping America win her freedom from the British.

During the battle, American soldier Benedict Arnold was wounded in the leg. Later, he betrayed the country he fought for, but there’s still a monument to his service, in the shape of a boot no less!

Benedict Arnold's Boot Monument street view (StreetView)
Benedict Arnold's Boot Monument street view

US Invades Grenada

As dawn rose on October 25, 1983, US troops landed at the airport on the Caribbean island of Grenada. Over the previous few weeks, political instability had come to a breaking point, the leader overthrown and killed in riots, and unrest was growing worse. Grenada’s government requested international help, and because there were more than 600 US medical students on the island, President Reagan sent about 7,600 troops to restore peace to the country. The military action was over within a few days and with relatively few casualties.

Democratic elections were held in 1984, and the country has been democratic ever since.

Grenada Island (Google Maps)
Grenada Island

Shootout at the OK Corral

At 3:00 on October 26, 1881, the most famous gunfight in the Wild West took place in Tombstone, Arizona. After an old feud came to head between an outlaw gang and the police authorities in the small territory town, the five members of the Cowboys faced off against town Sheriff Virgil Earp, his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, and friend Doc Holliday. After 30 seconds of shooting, two outlaws were dead, the rest of the gang had scattered.

The feud didn’t end that day, and the two sides continued to settle scores for years.The shootout did not actually take place at the OK Corral, but down the street. Nonetheless, the OK Corral and Tombstone have become famous in American lore.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (StreetView)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

These are just a few stories from the vault of history showing us that important, interesting, and outlandish things happen all the time.

This Month in History: April

April is all about springtime, things being renewed and looking forward; but it’s still important to look back on important events in history.

Let’s look at some important events that took place in Aprils past.

Supreme Court Ruling on African American Voting Rights

On April 3, 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down their ruling in Smith v. Allwright, helping to reestablish African American voting rights. This ruling determined that states and political parties cannot discriminate against voters or potential voters based on race.

At the time, Texas and other states delegated management of political primaries to the parties, which sometimes chose to prohibit African Americans from voting in their primary elections. This decision is often considered the first of many steps to breaking down racist Jim Crow laws.

US Supreme Court (StreetView)
US Supreme Court

First Modern Olympic Games Open in Athens, Greece

In ancient Greece, city-states held an Olympiad every four years with athletic competitions including wrestling, running and the javelin toss. The tradition lasted about 1200 years ending around 400 AD. After a 1500 year hiatus, the games were restarted on April 6, 1896, in Athens.

The modern games brought back a tradition of friendly competition, athleticism and national pride. The 1886 games were held in the ancient Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, which had been used for competitive sports events anciently.

It was was excavated in 1869 and, after some renovations made it safe for use, was the stadium for several Olympic events.

Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaron) (Google Maps)
Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaron)

Official End of American Civil War

The Civil War was the bloodiest war fought on American soil, when the states fought over issues including slavery, sovereignty, and states’ rights for four years. On April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to General Grant’s Union Army at Appomattox Court House. While skirmishes occurred for a few more months, removing Lee’s army from the war meant the South had no chance of victory, and the surrender has been commemorated as the official end of the Civil War.

The battlefield has been turned into a national park, so everyone can learn more about the end of the war.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (Google Maps)
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Lee surrendered to Grant at the McLean House, which is now a museum site.

McLean House - Civil War surrender site (StreetView)
McLean House - Civil War surrender site

Start of the American Civil War at Fort Sumter

When Confederate troops in Charleston started firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, on April 12, 1861, it signaled the start of the Civil War. In the months leading up to the battle, tensions were high between the federal military who held the fort and the Confederate troops in Charleston, South Carolina, who were part of the states who seceded from the Union. After little more than a day of fighting, the federal troops surrendered. The Battle of Fort Sumter was over, and the Civil War had begun.

You can visit the island fort in Charleston Harbor, and even learn about the lone soldier who died as a result of the battle, who haunts the fort to this day.

Fort Sumter (Google Maps)
Fort Sumter

Paul Revere’s Midnight Run

After years of conflict, war between Britain and her American colonies seemed inevitable by early 1775. Paul Revere and others in Boston waited to see British troop movements and warn surrounding cities, with the plan to hang lanterns in the Old North Church steeple. The famous “one if by land and two if by sea” was their signal.

On April 18, troops moved out, and the signal went up. Revere slipped out of Boston and was able to warn the residents of Concord, Massachusetts to hide their weapon supplies before the British arrived. The next day, April 19, the first battles of the Revolutionary War took place in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.

You can visit the Old North Church in Boston. It’s part of the “Freedom Trail”, a red trail painted throughout the city to provide a free walking tour of the city’s amazing history.

Old North Church Boston (Google Maps)
Old North Church Boston

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

The Nazis persecuted Jews across Europe, including in Warsaw, Poland. In the early part of the war, Jews were forced to live in specific neighborhoods, called ghettos. As the war dragged on, the Nazis rounded up Jews and sent them to concentration camps. On April 19, 1943, the Nazis started rounding up the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, but they were met with a coordinated revolt. Between 100 and 300 Nazi soldiers were killed, and an estimated 13,000 Jews died in the revolt, fighting or as victims of the violence during the weeks-long siege.

Parts of the wall still remain, and are preserved as a monument to what happened, and that it should not be allowed to happen ever again.

Section of the Warsaw Ghetto wall (Google Maps)
Section of the Warsaw Ghetto wall

There is also a memorial monument to honor those who died in the revolt.

Monument to the Ghetto Heroes (StreetView)
Monument to the Ghetto Heroes

William Shakespeare is Born

On April 23, 1564, the world gained one of it’s most talented and prolific playwrights. William Shakespeare was born that day in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was baptized on April 26 in the local church, so it’s assumed he was born on the 23rd, because babies at that time were baptized a few days after their birth.

Shakespeare's Birthplace (StreetView)
Shakespeare's Birthplace

Over his lifetime, Shakespeare wrote at least 39 plays, 154 sonnets, and other writings. Many of his plays were performed at the Globe Theater, which later burned down. It was rebuilt in 1997, and is a major tourist attraction in London, performing Shakespeare’s works in honor of The Bard.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (Birds Eye)
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Rodney King Riots

On March 3, 1991, four Los Angeles police officers brutally beat Rodney King after he evaded arrest in a residential area of San Fernando.

Location of the Rodney King Beating (Birds Eye)
Location of the Rodney King Beating

The beating, caught on camera, led to the officers being prosecuted, but on April 29, 1992, three were acquitted and the fourth was not convicted. Hours after the verdicts were announced, the city erupted in violent riots. Over the next six days, 63 people were killed, more than 2,000 were injured, and more than $1 billion in damage to property was sustained across the city.

These are just some of the important, influential and remarkable things that have taken place in history. As we know now more than ever, history is continually being made, and things that happen today will be remembered and retold for generations.

Important Sites in the Fight for American Civil Rights

For nearly one hundred years, Americans have been celebrating black history in February, at first for one week coinciding with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays, and later the entire month of February.

In honor of black history, all the people who have worked for equality in the United States and around the world, let’s look at some important sites from the struggle for equal rights in the United States.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Birmingham Alabama was a hotbed of civic unrest in the 1950s and 1960s as black Americans in the southern United States fought against Jim Crow laws and entrenched racism. The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church had a long history of supporting African Americans and working towards equality.

On Sunday, September 15, 1963, a bomb went off in the basement of the church, killing four young girls, and injuring 22 others. It took the state nearly forty years to prosecute and convict three men for the crimes.

16th Street Baptist Church (StreetView)
16th Street Baptist Church

Edmund Pettus Bridge

As part of the nonviolent movement for equality, a large peaceful march was planned to go from Selma Alabama, to Montgomery, the capital. When marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Sunday, March 7, 1965, armed police and others opposing equality attacked them, sending 17 people to the hospital.

The national press from what became known as “Bloody Sunday” became national news and helped galvanize the country in support of equal rights.

Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma) (Google Maps)
Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma)

Lincoln Memorial

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, is known as the Great Emancipator because he signed the Emancipation Proclamation and led the Union in the Civil War, fought in part over the issue of slavery in the South.

The Lincoln Memorial has been a rallying point for gatherings and protests, and Martin Luther King, Jr. used the memorial as his backdrop for his now-famous “I have a dream” speech. He gave the speech at the culmination of the March on Washington, on August 28, 1963.

Lincoln Memorial (StreetView)
Lincoln Memorial

Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Rosa Parks is possibly the most famous female advocate of the civil rights movement. She was thrust into the spotlight in 1955 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, sparking a boycott of the Montgomery city bus system that lasted more than a year and resulted in the mandatory integration of the city’s transportation system.

A museum and library has been created to honor Rosa Parks and educate visitors on Parks’ life, the civil rights era in Montgomery, and the bus boycott. Anyone interested in walking in the footsteps of heroes like Rosa Parks should visit this museum.

Rosa Parks Library and Museum (Birds Eye)
Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination Site

Martin Luther King, Jr. was the most influential advocate of civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, and while he drew much praise and recognition for his work, not all of the recognition was positive. Many people resented King for his message and work, and some felt so threatened that they wanted to harm him. On April 4, 1968, King was at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was shot and murdered by James Earl Ray.

The Lorraine Motel, where he was shot, has since been turned into a memorial and museum, and is an important place for people walking the steps of the “civil rights trail”.

MLK, Jr. assassination site/Lorraine Motel (Birds Eye)
MLK, Jr. assassination site/Lorraine Motel

Little Rock Central High School

An important part of the civil rights movement was integration of public places, including schools. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated that public schools be integrated, much to the frustration of many white people, especially in the South.

In 1957, Little Rock Central High School was the scene of forced integration when nine students attempted to attend the school but were faced with such threats of violence that they were unable to attend. President Eisenhower sent the national guard in to escort and protect the students for the entire school year.

Little Rock Central High School (Google Maps)
Little Rock Central High School

Sit Ins at the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter

Sit ins, where people would sit at a lunch counter in a segregated diner and attempt to order food, were a nonviolent protest during the civil rights movement.

On February 1, 1960, four black students began what would become a months-long protest at the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and spark a chain of similar protests throughout the South. After months of protest, national attention, and significant revenue loss, the store quietly changed it’s policy of desegregation, a major victory for civil rights.

The building has been turned into the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, and it includes a portion of the counter where the sit in took place.

International Civil Rights Center & Museum (StreetView)
International Civil Rights Center & Museum

These are just a few of the places where important events in the struggle for equal rights in the United States took place. If you’re ever near any of them, take a detour and learn more about the history that shapes our culture and our country even today.

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African American preacher and minister who became the country’s most important civil rights icon, leading citizens in nonviolent protests, marches and civil disobedience in the 1960s. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, sparking riots and mourning across the country, and cementing his importance as a leader and hero for all Americans who value freedom, equality and civil rights.

In honor of his legacy, a national holiday was established and is now commemorated on the third Monday in January; January 20 in 2020.

Many people honor King’s legacy by turning the holiday into a day of service. As we honor the civil rights icon, let’s look back on his life and influence.

Birthplace, Atlanta, Georgia

King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. His father was a minister, and taught his children about inequality in America, pointing out segregation and discrimination in their daily lives.

It was in his youth that King, Jr. experienced his first discriminatory experiences, including being forced to stand in a bus so white riders could sit.

These moments never felt right to him, and inspired him to advocate for change.

Birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. (StreetView)
Birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia

King entered Morehouse College at 15, exhibiting a bright mind and ability to succeed both academically and athletically. It was here, at age 18, that he decided to join the ministry, feeling even at this young age that he would advocate for humanity, even extending to “social protest” if needed. He graduated from Morehouse College at age 19, and then enrolled at Crozer Theological Seminary to earn his degree in Divinity.

Morehouse College (Birds Eye)
Morehouse College

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama

King married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953 and then took a job in 1954 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama, which was later renamed Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. The church, organized in 1877, has a long history of serving the African American community.

In addition to King, several other prominent civil rights advocates worked at or were affiliated with the church.

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (Google Maps)
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott

While serving as pastor in Montgomery, King became involved in civil rights activities, and began working on what became known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott started in December 1955 and lasted 385 days as nearly all African Americans refused to ride city buses, instead organizing an effective system of carpools and ride sharing to get people to and from work while crippling the city transit system.

Parks’ case worked its way through the courts and eventually went to the Supreme Court, who ruled that forced segregation of the transit system was unconstitutional.

Rosa Parks Library and Museum (Birds Eye)
Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

As King worked towards equality, his efforts gained national attention and support. On August 28, 1963, he led a March on Washington, where between 200,000-300,000 people marched in support of equal rights and other issues.

At the Lincoln Memorial, the end point of the march, King gave his impassioned “I Have a Dream” speech, which is one of the most memorable and most impactful speeches in American history.

Lincoln Memorial (StreetView)
Lincoln Memorial

Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, Selma, Alabama

King worked as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which had the goal of working to end segregation and racial discrimination in the United States by focusing on efforts in the South. Selma, Alabama, was an important focal point of these efforts, including multiple efforts to hold a voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. These marches were organized and started at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, which also held voter registration events and planning meetings in the move for equal rights.

Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (StreetView)
Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Edmund Pettus Bridge

The first attempt, on March 7, 1965, resulted in violence against the marchers, both by counter protesters and police. By the time marchers reached the Edmund Pettus Bridge, mob violence broke out against the marchers and the effort was called off. It was so violent that the event earned the nickname “Bloody Sunday”.

Outrage against the police violence fueled national support of the movement. Two days later, King led a second, symbolic march to the bridge and disbanded the march in fear of repeated attacks.

Later, a march from Selma to Montgomery finally took place, representing the slow but steady progress to remove voting discrimination in the South.

Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma) (Google Maps)
Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma)

Lorraine Hotel, Memphis

King often traveled throughout the southern United States. In late March 1968, King was in Memphis, Tennessee for protest marches and other activities. He was standing outside his motel room when he was shot by James Earl Ray. He died later that evening.

The motel has since been turned into the National Civil Rights Museum.

Communities across the country were so upset at his assassination that days of protest, riots and violence broke out, including in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Baltimore.

Lorraine Hotel (StreetView)
Lorraine Hotel

Ebenezer Baptist Church

During the 1960s, King continued to work on civil rights issues, and moved his family to Atlanta, Georgia, where he became co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father. He served here until his death. His private funeral was held here on April 9, 1968. His wife Coretta organized a powerful funeral honoring his life and properly pay tribute to his sacrifice.

Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary (Birds Eye)
Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary

King Center, Atlanta, Georgia

After his death, Coretta Scott King worked hard to preserve her husband’s memory and legacy. She and others created the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. More than  one million visitors come each year to tour sites important to King’s life, learn about the leader, read his papers and gain perspectives they can share with others after they leave.

King and his wife are entombed there, and visitors can pay their respects to the civil rights leaders.

Martin Luther King's Tomb at the King Center in Atlanta (Birds Eye)
Martin Luther King's Tomb at the King Center in Atlanta

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C.

On August 22, 2011, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was opened on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial features a 30 foot statute of King, designed to look like he is emerging from the “mountain of despair” of which he spoke. Many quotes from King’s speeches and sermons are displayed throughout the four acre memorial. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the National Mall.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (StreetView)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Today is a great time to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the efforts he made to ensure social justice. If you are inspired by his life and sacrifice, a great way to honor the hero would be to go out and give service in your community; at a shelter, with children or however your feel will honor Dr. King’s legacy.