tv Reel America CBS News Martin Luther King - Assassination and Aftermath CSPAN April 3, 2018 8:09pm-8:44pm EDT
ceo of the national constitution center in philadelphia and jamil jaffer, founder of the national security institute and director of the national security law and policy program, both at george mason university's antonin scalia law school. watch "landmark cases" monday and join the congress. our hashtag is, hashtag landmarkcases the landmark cases companion book, a link to the national constitution center's interactive constitution and the "landmark cases" podcast at c-span.org/landmarkcases. wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of martin luther king jr. in memphis. next, we'll bring you a cbs news special report that was broadcast on april 5th, 1968. one day after dr. king's assassination.
this includes coverage of the funeral in memphis, reaction from president johnson and some of the riots that followed. i am the resurrection and the life, say it the lord. he that believe in me though he were dead yet shall live. and whoever liveth and believeth in mesha shall never die. the lord gave and the lord has taken away. bless it be the name of the lord. >> good evening. this is harry raisener. a day after the death of dr. martin luther king, the nation has two questions, one, has the murderer been caught? he has not. but the authorities say they think they will catch him. and, two, what has the effect
been? there are two sides to that, the nation has not caught fire but there is a country wide reaction, turmoil in at least a dozen more cities today for a total of 40 or so in serious places, including the capital city. regular troops are on duty there. the other places the national guard has been called out has probably set a record for domestic disturbance. this is the edge of decision. many sides tonight are quoting martin luther king. he himself never wanted to be cited in defense of violence. in mississippi, in 1966, after james meredith had been shot, he spoke with bitterness and passion about what was then the new gospel of the black militants. >> i am disturbed about a strange theory that is circulating, saying to me that i ought to imitate the worst in the white man and the worst in our oppressors. who has a victor of chilling and lynching people and throwing
them in rivers? it's our oppressors and now people are telling me to stoop down to that level. oh, no. the reason that i will not do it is i'm not going to allow anybody to pull me so low as to use the very method that has perpetuated evil throughout our civilization. i'm sick and tired of that. i'm tired of the war in vietnam. i'm tired of war and conflict in the world. i'm tired of shooting. i'm tired of hate. i'm tired of selfishness. i'm tired of evil. i'm not going to use violence, no matter who says it. >> dr. martin luther king jr. has been struck down by the violence against which he preached and worked.
yet the cause for which he struggled has not fallen. the voice that called for justice and brotherhood has been stilled but the quest for freedom, to which he always gave eloquent expression, continues on. men of all races, of all religions, of all regions now must join together in this hour to deny violence its victory and fulfill the vision of brotherhood that gave purpose to martin luther king jr., li's li and his works. >> president johnson issued that appeal to the nation at the white house today, a day in which the war in vietnam was pushed into the background by the violence in america's streets. washington, chicago, detroit, boston, new york, these are just a few of the cities in which the negro anguish over dr. king's
murder, presumably by a white man, expressed itself in violent destruction. detroit, the scene of last summer's worst rioting tonight is under a curfew with some 3,000 national guardsmen on duty to enforce it. a young negro under arrest in detroit was killed tonight, accidentally according to police, who say he struck a policeman's revolver, setting it off. boston is being protected by several thousand and mobilized after a day of racial confrontations. in new york, where police are out in full force, has experienced window breaking and looting of stores along broadway and 6th and 7th avenues. drifted across the white house biffle, and president johnson declared a state of emergency. that declaration resulted in the virtually unthinkable act of regular armed regular army troops deployed to protect the capitol and the white house. here is steve rowen. >> some buildings were put to the torch, while the looters
stripped block after block of stores along seventh street. tossing tear gas into the crowd, but that didn't deter the negros, and as soon as the officers got a block or so away, they resumed their pillaging, running from store to store gathering up everything they could get. it didn't matter then that the clothing might not fit, the important thing seemed to be that they were getting away with it, that the police could not stop them without shooting and quickly realized the officers would not shoot. many were satisfied with only an armful. but others loaded bigger items into vehicles. a few were too ambitious or curious, perhaps, like the college students who wanted to see whether they could get a big radio tv record player combination in a small foreign-built car. it just wouldn't fit. and their curiosity got these cats arrested. some of the looters were just children. others came prepared with tools
to rip off protective bars and screens. the negros cheered excitedly as plate glass windows shattered or doors caved in. there were many who took no part in the break-ins, but took advantage of the openings provided by the younger men. and there was one woman who found what she wanted but then couldn't find any young man to help her carry off her prize. the officers apparently had been told to avoid violence and while they roughed up some of those they arrested, they made no real attempt to catch most of the looters. in fact, many of those who were arrested got caught because they walked out of stores into the waiting arms of the police. but still, some persons were injured and there were a few complaints of police brutality and false arrests. aside from responding with tear gas, the officers generally ignored the bricks and bottles
thrown at them. they knew that they were seriously understrength for any major outbreak of violence and many of them were hoping for a call up of the national guard or what happened, the eventual deployment of army troops. the crowd, for its part, never turned really ugly and firemen were able to go about their job of getting the blazes out with relatively little interfeerns during the afternoon. -- interference during the afternoon. seventh street from the air looked like a row of smoking chimney pots and isolated area of trouble, but even then the trouble was spreading and mayor walter washington clamped down a curfew while officials cancelled the cherry blossom festival scheduled for this weekend. that was washington by day. >> this is how washington looked from the air tonight. at one point early in the evening, more than 100 fires
were burning, some of them in an area just 20 blocks from the white house. as the evening wore on, officials say the incidents of fires seemed to be lessening somewhat, that assessment based on a helicopter trip over the city. three deaths have been reported in the washington rioting so far. there are no details yet on the circumstances surrounding them. more than 350 persons have been treated for injuries, among them several policemen and firemen. fire fighting was hampered if for no other reason, the sheer volume of the alarms. sent into the city from suburban areas. looting spread to the downtown shopping section of the city and as darkness fell arrests increased. to this hour, more than 700 people have been arrested. some of them picked up in spot checks by police enforcing the curfew. more than 4,000 national guard and regular army troops moved into the city to re-enforce the
some 1,200 policemen on duty. they were disbursed at strategic points in the most troubled areas. some of the regulars came in from nearby bases in virginia and maryland. former deputy defense secretary cyrus vance, president johnson's troubleshooter in last year's detroit riots, joined with mayor walter washington in directing operations. the first night of disorders put this capital city on edge. tonight has been far worse and has still many more hours to go. nelson venton, cbs news, washington. >> earlier today, after last night's violence in the capital died down and before today's began, mr. johnson proclaimed sunday as a national day of mourning for dr. king throughout the united states. mr. johnson also issued an order that until dr. king's burial, the american flag is to be flown at half staff on all federal government buildings, bases and vessels around the world. the assassination and its aftermath temporarily pushed aside the president's plans to pursue his new vietnam effort as
he put in a busy day at the white house. we get the latest on the president's plans and his mood from cbs news correspondent dan rather. >> reporter: the violent afternoon faded into a red sunset, mixing eerily with a black paul of smoke blowing from burning downtown buildings just behind the half staff flag over the white house. there is a sad president in there tonight. he's walking around in his short sleeves, his collar undone, disappointed his best has not been good enough to prevent what is happening to washington. he is calling in the army late today, climaxed seven hours of conferences, proclamations, orders and pleas. besides announcing sunday as a national day of mourning and prayer, he requested a joint session of congress monday evening for the president to address on civil order and justice. he cancelled his scheduled trip to honolulu for vietnam planning. instead, general westmoreland will be in washington tomorrow. the day began with 21 civil
rights leaders summoned to the white house. what can and should be done was the question. most of those asked were black. dr. king's father was invited. he declined but sent a telegram expressing full support for the president's stop the violence plea. they interrupted their session to attend memorial services for dr. king at the cathedral. jammed the historic church, the largest crowd in its history, larger than that even for john kennedy at the cathedral. back at the white house, mr. johnson resumed his discussions with white leaders such at chief justice -- u.s. army troops real rolled up behind the white house just before the sun went down. not to ring the white house, that would be left to government police in hopes of easing the picture impact overseas. it was the saddest day of the johnson presidency since that november friday in 1963 -- from
dallas. dan rather, cbs news, the white house. >> washington bore the brunt of the -- chicago claimed that fearful decision as night fell. there 6,000 national guardsmen were called to duty and fires raged through a 16-block area. ted duval has the story. >> they call it garfield park, long known as a bleak negro ghetto. tonight, much of it on fire. the looting, vandalism and burning began in the afternoon as thousands of school children -- by late afternoon, the trouble reached alarming proportions and these fires were started. the looting went largely unchallenged. the scenes are all too familiar. men and women, children, too, of all ages carrying articles of all descriptions, television sets, clothing, furniture, food. police often ignored and in turn were ignored by looters.
the area on fire is west madison street which points directly best. for the first several hours, no significant shooting incidents were reported. the word sniper was not heard. killed by sniper fire in this, the heart of the ghetto. the number of arrests is in the hundreds, special booking and bonding arrangements are already being made for tomorrow. authorities have lost count of the number of buildings now burning out of control. a water pressure problem has developed in the past hour. firemen find themselves unable to make even the most modest effort. roughly have the firemen and the fire engines in chicago are now engaged. the illinois national guard was alerted late in the day and as they took to the streets, mayor daily was making a plea for calm and order. >> we must have respect for the
rights of all people and we ask on behalf of chicago for all parents and all children and all citizens, stand up today and tonight and be proud of the grateful city and be proud of the city which has given opportunity to all and protect the city and work and cooperate with the police department, the army national guard and the fine fire department. i ask you this sincerely and i ask you it very personally and i ask you it on behalf of yourself. let's show to the united states and the world what the citizenry of chicago is made of. >> in memphis today, u.s. attorney general ramsey clark said authorities are very close to the arrest of dr. king's murderer. he said the investigation has led several hundred miles beyond
tennessee's borders, but that there is quite a bit of evidence, and although the killer has not yet been positively identified, clark expressed confidence in an early solution. clark also said there is no sign of a conspiracy, nothing to indicate the assassination was anything more than the act of one man. for a film report of today's developments in memphis and in atlanta. first, pappis with a brief construction of the slaying. >> eyewitnesss to the assassination say dr. king left his room, 306, at the lorain hotel just before dinner. noting friends below, he leaned over and began to speak with them. police say 205 feet away in a window in a flop house the assassin waited. >> he waited, police believe, in a bathroom down the hall from the room he rented but four hours earlier. to get a clear shot of his victim, the assassin apparently
had to stand in the bathtub, leaning forward to brace his arms on the window ledge to steady his rifle. this was the view he got. he fired a single shot, hitting his target squarely and then he ran. out of the bathroom and along the hallway, turning, he raced down the rickety wood stairs and out. one policeman said he simply faded. cbs news, memphis. >> just to date this morning, dr. martin luther king's body was brought to lie in state for an hour. hundreds paid their respects during that brief hour. they were old, they were dressed for work, they were middle aged, with families, young, well-dressed, curious children, but they were almost all black. for some, the experience was just too much.
the plane had come from atlanta bearing mrs. king. there were police and national guardsmen at the airport with shotguns and rifles and riot sticks to hold back the crowd of newsmen and spectators. the casket was placed aboard for the last journey home to atlanta. late today, a judge in memphis approved a march which martin luther king had planned to lead next monday. bill plant, cbs news, memphis. >> dr. king's body came home in a plane chartered by new york senator robert kennedy. hundreds of people took time off from their jobs to gather in the overcast weather. his chief aides, referred ralph abernathy were joined by atlanta mayor who earlier was barred from participating in a black people's march -- militants and nonmilitants stood quietly as dr. king's wife and four children left the plane for the limousine. the rains stopped just before the plane arrived.
mayor allen led the motorcade from the airport through downtown atlanta to a funeral home just a few blocks from the gold domed estate capital and a crowd of 500 waited there. mrs. king took the children into the home, she met with friends and family to make plans for the funeral. his brother came here from louisville. the acting president of the southern christian leadership conference, reverend ralph abernathy, spoegt to tke to the >> may i have your attention? he was a man that did not believe in violence. >> amen. >> yes, sir. >> he believed in nonviolence. >> yes, sir. >> he lived this. he preached this. and this is the way he died. >> dr. king's funeral has been scheduled for tuesday morning in atlanta's ebenezer baptist church where he and his father
served as co-pastors. this is jacqueline kennedy speaking from her own loss appealing for americans to love, not hate. i weep for mrs. king and her children for this senseless act of hate, she said. when will our country learn that to live by the sword is to perish by the sword. in a sense, she spoke for many americans the mourning they felt, a mourning symbolized by a service in cleared today. john hart reports. >> thousands of people gathered outside and inside the church in cleveland for a memorial prayer svts, where mayor carl stokes asked for a continuing. >> you can kill a man but you cannot kill an idea. and the idea and the ideals for which dr. martin luther king stood, for which he lived and for which he died will continue to live in this country. will continue to live in this
city. and despite the sorrow upon -- under which all of us today feel so heavily, there will on the morrow be a resurgence of the confidence that he was right and that we will overcome. >> with martin luther king gone, who can take his place in the leadership of the nation's negro moderates? whitney young, the head of the national urban league, was asked about this after attending a white house meeting with the president. >> mr. young, whom do you see who can take over leadership now that dr. king is gone? who will be the moderating force? >> the president of the united states and the congress, and i just don't see this kind of separation anymore. i think i'm a leader of decent people, of whatever color.
i think the people who would engage in violence, whether they're black or white, are not leaders of decent people. i think the problem is clearly now decent people versus indecent people. it's clearly a question of right thinking people against wrong thinking people and the time has come that this big silent blob of americans who claim they're so decent must begin to speak up. the problem is too serious now to be left to the cooks and the crack pots, whatever color they are. the decent people have to take over. >> president johnson will address congress monday night in a speech that will be broadcast over many of the cbs stations. what he plans to put forward is still being worked out and we hear about it from cbs news correspondent roger mudd. >> the white house has no clear idea tonight what the president will propose to the congress when he addresses a joint session monday. there was blunt talk this afternoon at the white house, mainly from whitney young of the
urban league and walter washington, the capital city's commissioner. the president in return promised to do everything within his power in his remaining nine months in office. what washington and young demanded was immediate passage of the open housing bill already scheduled to emerge from the house rules committee tuesday and a massive spending program in the neighborhood of $30 billion for jobs and low-cost housing. the president is expected monday to push for the open housing bill, but this can hardly be classed as a memorial to dr. king, for it would have cleared the congress, even without his memphis murder. the massive spending program is something else again. mr. johnson's own state of the union proposals totaling about $8 billion have not moved an inch since january and any new programs will run immediately into the morass of deficits and the excruciatingly slow appropriation process. the president will need an electric proposal while the congress is still in a state of shock. roger mudd, cbs news,
washington. >> stokely carmichael, the black power militant, urged negros to avenge dr. king's death in the streets. get guns, he said, we have to retaliate for the execution. president johnson's reaction to the murder was broadcast to the nation this morning after he had met with civil rights leaders at the white house. >> once again the heart of america is heavy. the spirit of america weeps for a tragedy that denies the very meaning of our land. the life of a man who symbolized the freedom and faith of america has been taken. but it is the fiber and the fabric of the republic that's being tested. if we are to have the america
that we mean to have, all men of all races, all regions, all religions must stand their ground to deny violence its victory in this sorrowful time and in all times to come. and no words of ours and no words of mine can fill the void of the eloquent voice that has been stilled. but this, i do believe deeply, the dream of dr. martin luther king jr. has not died with him. men who are white, men who are
black must and will now join together as never in the past to let all the forces of divisiveness know that america shall not be ruled by the bully but only by the ballot of free and of just men. >> throughout most of the country, of course, there is no violence, but there is a general uneasiness everywhere, and there is wide scattered violence. from washington -- >> no one can be sure at this hour whether the violence is to grow and spread or decline and contract. in many city ghettos, mass emotions are poised on a knife edge. it takes only one brick thrown here, one fire set there to lose mob action. the transmission and presentation of news funnels and
concentrates far scattered events. to people far away, it may look at as if americans are burning down all their great cities. they are not and they are not likely to. in each city, the violence is usually confined to a few blocks out of thousands. the looters numbers scores are a few hundred, not often thousands. the real rioters numbering even less. a tiny percentage of 12% of the american population cannot destroy this country or come anywhere close to that. a great man and symbol has been martyred as he was all but sure to be. there is no complete security against a lone, sick criminal. the modern instrument of the high -- powered rifle with a tell soppic eye. almost sun -- has been the result of conspiracy, booth's murder of lincoln was a quasi conspiracy, a small group of misfits hastily thrown together. the truest conspiracy was the
puerto rican attempt on president truman and that failed. those who understood dr. king are weeping tonight. they are not throwing rocks. no doubt, deep-seeded social conditions as well as cruelly hurt human pride lie at the very bottom of these explosions, but it's a little hard to think of yelling exuberant teenagers smashing the shops of fellow negros as rebels with a cause carrying the weight of history on their backs. it is little hard to think of well-dressed men and women stealing from other negros as people praised by grief. most of them seemed to laugh as they grabbed. so far as one can tell from the terse reports around the country, no real race riot has occurred, only riots. washington, like other cities, had one once about a half century about, whites against blacks en masse and there were many casualties. this could happen. until and unless it does, we have a chance, a good chance, to snuff out the scattered
preliminary flames before any firestorm begins, before the atmosphere catches fire. in washington. >> at this hour, there is unrest in many places but it is not out of control anywhere. the murderer's at large but the attorney general says he will be caught. sunday is a national day of mourning, monday the president addresses congress, the body lies in atlanta, the funeral will be tuesday. good night. this special report has been brought to you by western electric, manufacturing and supply unit of the bell system, the people who provide telephones and equipment that connects them. wednesday evening, "american history tv" is in prime time. we'll look at the 50th anniversary of the assassination
of martin luther king jr. with live coverage of the 50th anniversary commemoration in memphis, tennessee. with a panel discussion on martin luther king jr.'s life and legacy from past and present civil rights leaders, including remarks from georgia congressman john lewis. "american history tv prime time" begins live at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, education week reporter madeleine will discusses teacher pay and benefits. then author and commentator sophia nelson joins us to talk about the 50th anniversary of martin luther king's assassination. and we're live in helena, montana, for the next stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour with montana democratic lieutenant governor mike cooney, who will be on to talk about top
policy issues his state. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. sunday on c-span's "q&a," three rhetorical physicist and author talks about his career in science and his latest book, "the future of humanity." >> the norm for mother nature is extinction. if you dig right under our feet right now, you will see the bones of the 99.9% that no longer walk the surface of the earth. now, we're different. we have self-awareness. we can see the future. we plot. we scheme. we plan. and so perhaps we're going to evade this conundrum and maybe survive, but we need an insurance policy. that's why this book is different from the other books because the other books talk about the steps, but what is the goal? what's the pot of gold out
there? >> "q&a," sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals tour. we recently stopped in sacramento, california, asking folks, what's the most important issue in their state. >> right now, affordable housing and homelessness are two issues that are critically important to the state for its future. we're losing jobs because we can't afford to have people live here. economic development is really suffering. so affordable housing is critical to california and the homeless population has just exploded in california. and cities are trying to do their best to help out with the homeless, spending their own money trying to fix this problem. the federal government hasn't become -- is pulling back on being a partner on housing issues, so we're looking to the state to step up and be a partner on affordable housing. >> currently what i'm worried about is the taxes for gas that
was passed this fall. i'm concerned that some of the money from the high-speed rail is getting in taxpayers now having to pay for the problems that are going on with the high-speed rail. >> so as a first generation college student, it's really important for me, immigration policies to give access to higher education to everyone here that's in the united states. >> me being a veteran, my issue that's most important to me in california is veterans affairs and veterans benefits. it seems like us being veterans we are -- i feel like we're entitled to a couple of benefits, a number of benefits that seem to be either really slow in coming or kind of are being eroded by budget cuts and budget cuts in washington. >> we need counselors in elementary schools throughout the whole state of california, every elementary school should
have a counselor because of all the problems we're having with mental illness, and, of course, the gun issue, and i think that this bill should be passed through the state of california. they tried to pass it. it's called a.b. 1644 and they did not pass it because the governor said he wasn't going to support it this time, it was too expensive. so i would like to see that happen and i think we're going to solve a lot of problems for teachers and schools. >> voices from the states on c-span. wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of martin luther king jr. in atlanta. following his death, a number of memorial services were held. two funeral services were held in atlanta on april 9th, 1968. one at