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MARTIN LUTHER KING

50-years after the MLK riots: Washington D.C then and now

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Fifty years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The civil rights leader’s shocking murder on April 4, 1968, marked one of the most significant moments in U.S. history.

Riots erupted in America's capital in the hours after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Grieving and angry, rioters smashed windows, looted and burned buildings for several days, and at least 10 people lost their lives as a result of the violence.

With the Washington, D.C. police force overwhelmed by the rioting, the federal government deployed the National Guard to protect government buildings and maintain some semblance of order in the city. Soldiers carrying rifles in the streets of the capital became commonplace as officials struggled to calm angry residents.

It took decades for some predominantly black neighborhoods in the District of Columbia to recover from the destruction.

Today, 50 years later, the landscape of the city has changed with newer, more modern buildings replacing the damaged and burned facilities with little trace remaining from the days of rage following Martin Luther King's death.

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