930 Mason St

Mason Temple, at 930 Mason St

In attempt to speak out on behalf of the black sanitary workers who had been on strike, iconic civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis in late March of 1968. The eventual assassination of King on April 4th from the Lorraine motel balcony (now converted into the Civil Rights Museum) has been incredibly documented and annual celebrations of his life have been acknowledged ever since. What sometimes gets lost in these reflections is that perhaps his most famous speech was given at a nearby temple one day before his death. References to his possible last days hardly go unnoticed throughout this epochal passage.

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has it’s place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountaintop. And I’ve looked over. And 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. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

King gave his fabled last speech at “The Church of God in Christ” Mason Temple, located at 930 Mason St, on April 3rd, 1968.