Days before his assassination, Dr. King came to Memphis at the request of striking sanitation workers to risk jail and organize a mass demonstration in defiance of a court injunction and National Guardsmen in armored personnel carriers equipped with 50-caliber machine guns. The workers ultimately won their union contract.
Striking Memphis sanitation workers resumed their daily marches March 29, 1968 – one day after rioting left Main and Beale littered with bricks and broken glass and dappled with blood. The city was taking no chances on a repeat of the violence: National Guardsmen in armored personnel carriers equipped with 50-caliber machine guns escorted the marchers. (By Barney Sellers / copyright, The Commercial Appeal)