Savannah joins nation in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on 50th anniversary

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The country is remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., now 50 years after his tragic assassination at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

On Wednesday, the nation will celebrate the life he lived and the hard fight and sacrifices he made for so many others.

Dr. King made reference to the city of Savannah in one of his many interviews.

I have said in the past that Savannah is one of the most desegregated cities in the deep south. -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Published reports state that Dr. King visited Savannah three times in 1964. He was also scheduled to speak two weeks before he was assassinated in 1968. The trip was cancelled because of bad weather.

It is also said that Dr. King shared part of his "I Have a Dream" speech for the first time in Savannah before the March on Washington. He delivered it at the Second African Baptist Church.

WTOC spoke with a representative from the NAACP Savannah Branch to find out how the organization helps make the structure remain relevant in our area.

"Providing leadership to young people. Just as we see now across the nation, it was young people in the streets, it was young people who did the sit-ins, it was the young people, the school children who did the wade-ins," said Richard Shinhoster, First VP, NAACP Savannah.

As the nation celebrates Dr. King's legacy, First African Baptist Church in Savannah's Franklin Square will hold a public commemoration on Wednesday. At 7:01 p.m., the service will pause while the church bell tolls 39 times to acknowledge the moment and age of Dr. King when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. All churches in the community with bells are asked to join in this demonstration of unity in remembering the exact time that Dr. King was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The public is encouraged to attend this commemorative service.


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