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Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years after assassination

| Jesse Yang (video); Judy Berthiaume (story)

This week people across the United States are celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as they honor the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination.

Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, shook the nation, setting off riots and protests in cities across the country.

An advocate for democracy, justice, equality and prosperity for all, Dr. King led the civil rights movement and, ultimately, helped change the course of history across the nation.

In the years prior to his death, Dr. King traveled throughout the United States, sharing his vision for an integrated and unified America.

Among his stops was Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire, now known as the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

In his March 29, 1962, speech on campus, he challenged President John F. Kennedy to issue "a second Emancipation Proclamation." Among the most famous quotes from his speech: "The first proclamation freed us from slavery. The second will free us from segregation, which is actually nothing more than slavery.”

Recently, UW-Eau Claire students, faculty, staff and members of the Eau Claire community traveled to sites throughout the South that are important to the civil rights movement as part of the university’s 10th annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage.

During their journey, Blugolds shared their thoughts about Dr. King’s legacy.

In this video story, Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history at UW-Eau Claire, also talks about the civil rights leader’s contributions to America as well as the impact his assassination had on the nation. Dr. Ducksworth-Lawton, an expert in African-American history and U.S. social history, has organized events in Eau Claire for many years to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.