Robert F. Kennedy
U.S. Senator of New YorkEven in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot and killed by a sniper while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Motel Lorraine in Memphis, Tennessee. That night, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, just two months away from his own assassination, announced King's death at a political rally in Indianapolis, Indiana. Urging calm, Kennedy fell into quoting the Ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus in an effort to articulate the inexplicable tragedy of King's murder. As word of the assassination spread, riots broke out in several major cities, and in Washington, D.C., fires set by enraged protestors devastated portions of the downtown area. The National Guard was subsequently called in, and for several days the armed troops patrolled the streets of the nation's capital. On April 9, during a ceremony attended by over one-hundred-thousand people, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was laid to rest in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.