Forty years ago today, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave what would be the last public speech of his life. Some 24 hours later, on April 4th at 6:01 p.m., he was shot dead by a sniper at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.
CNN's Soledad O'Brien is anchoring a new CNN series called "Black in America," a broadcast and digital initiative assessing the legacy of the King years and the current state of African-Americans in the United States. She recalls the sensation of standing on the hotel balcony in the course of reporting for the series.
"What's amazing to me is that in some ways you know you're standing literally in a pivotal spot, in history, in time, in this country" she says. "There's a chunk of the concrete on that balcony that's literally been cut away because there was so much blood when Dr. King was shot down, they could never get it out. They just cut the concrete out and repoured it."
Catch more of O'Brien's reporting tonight at 9 p.m. EST, with CNN's Witness to Murder: The King Assassination, the first installment of "Black in America."