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Eyes on the Prize
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James Earl Ray (1928-1998)

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James Earl Ray led to cell in handcuffs,  July 19, 1968.

In spring 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. went to Memphis to support striking black sanitation workers. On April 3, his standard speech came with a new ending: "I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land." The next night, King was shot outside of his motel, and died in hospital. Two months later, a white American named James Earl Ray was arrested in London and extradited to the United States. Ray confessed to the murder but later recanted his confession. Aside from three days as an escapee, Ray spent the rest of his life in prison. Some, including members of King's family, have questioned whether Ray was involved in the death of King or whether conspiracies remain to be uncovered.

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