Photo gallery: Martin Luther King Jr. assassination 45 years later
Published: April 5, 2013 08:12AM
Updated: April 4, 2013 06:42PM
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FILE - In this April 3, 1968 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his last public appearance at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. The civil rights leader was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel when he was killed by a rifle bullet on April 4, 1968. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the killing and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He died in prison in 1998. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly, File)

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis 45 years ago on April 4, 1968, triggered spasms of both grief and violence.

As the nation’s cities smoldered and police searched for the killer, civil rights activists and politicians joined King’s family in mourning the loss of the 39-year-old minister.

Here are photos from the day of the slaying and its aftermath.