May 10


The Astor Place Riot

A quarrel over the merits of American and British actors led to an astonishing outbreak of violence in New York.

Theatres in the nineteenth century were a place where citizens of all social classes could gather and where loud expressions of opinion and taste could burst into riotous disorder. In 1849 the issue was whether American actors, exemplified by 45-year-old star Edwin Forrest, had attained an excellence in their portrayal of Shakespearean characters that was the equal of British actors, such as the touring player, the venerable Edwin Charles Macready. The two men had a history of hostility dating back to earlier tours of England which had resulted in threats of lawsuits and nasty letters to newspapers. Back in the U.S.A., Forrest had pressed the question by following Macready’s troupe about the country and challenging him by performing the same roles. Throw in the anti-British sentiment espoused by American patriots and recent Irish immigrants and you have an explosive situation in the making. Worse yet, was Forrest’s appeal to working class toughs and street gangs who claimed to prefer his rugged “American” style of acting to the more refined techniques of his foreign rival.

On May 7, 1849, Macready’s performance of Macbeth was interrupted by elements in the audience who pelted the stage with fruit, pennies and rotten eggs, while ripping up seats, hissing, and crying “Shame!” Though the actors tried to continue, the show had to be cancelled. The elderly Macready vowed to return to Britain in high dudgeon but influential New Yorkers urged him to stay and assured him that the better natures of the townsfolk would prevail. Alas it was not to be; the lower orders resented the interference of the upper class and were bent on mayhem.

Three nights later, Macready attempted to put on the Scottish play once more, and once more sections of the audience were determined to drive him from the stage. But the real problems were outside the theatre where a mob of 10,000 had gathered, armed with stones and bottles. For them, opposition to Macready was a patriotic act — street posters had stirred them up, demanding “SHALL AMERICANS OR ENGLISH RULE THIS CITY?” Someone attempted to set the theatre on fire.

Knowing that the local police were not up to the task, the Governor had summoned the state militia to protect the performance and to guard the residences of the well-to-do. When the mob would not disperse, a tragic decision was taken. In the words of a contemporary account:

At last the awful word was given to fire—there was a gleam of sulphurous light, a sharp quick rattle, and here and there in the crowd a man sank upon the pavement with a deep groan or a death rattle. Then came a more furious attack, and a wild yell of vengeance! Then the rattle of another death-dealing volley, far more fatal than the first. The ground was covered with killed and wounded—the pavement was stained with blood. A panic seized the multitude, which broke and scattered in every direction. In the darkness of the night yells of rage, screams of agony, and dying groans were mingled together. Groups of men took up the wounded and the dead, and conveyed them to the neighboring apothecary shops, station-houses, and the hospital.

The result was up to 30 dead, most innocent bystanders, and a sharpening of class hostility in New York.

May 9


Colonel Blood Steals the Crown Jewels

This day, in the year 1671, witnessed one of the most extraordinary attempts at robbery recorded in the annals of crime. The designer was an Irishman, named Thomas Blood, whose father had gained property, according to the most probable account, as an iron-master, in the reign of Charles I.

When the civil wars broke out, the son espoused the cause of the parliament, entered the army, and rose to the rank of colonel; at least, in subsequent times, he is always spoken of as Colonel Blood. As, at the Restoration, we find him reduced to poverty, we may conclude that he had either squandered away his money, or that his property had been confiscated, perhaps in part both, for he seems to have laboured under the impression of having been injured by the Duke of Ormond, who had been appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland, and against whom he nourished the bitterest hatred.

In 1663, he formed a plot for surprising Dublin Castle, and seizing upon the lord lieutenant, which, however, was discovered before it could be carried into execution. Blood then became a wandering adventurer, roaming from one country to another, until he established himself in London, in the disguise of a physician, under the name of Ayliffe. Such was his position in 1670, when he made another attempt on the life of his enemy, the Duke of Ormond. On the evening of the 6th of December in that year, as the duke was returning home from a dinner given to the young Prince of Orange, in St. James’s Street, he was stopped by six men on horseback, who dragged him from his coach, and having fastened him with a belt behind one of them, were carrying him off towards Tyburn, with the intention of hanging him there. But, by desperate struggling, he succeeded in slipping out of the strap which bound him, and made his escape, under favour of the darkness, but not without considerable hurt from the brutal treatment he had undergone. A reward of a thousand pounds was offered for the discovery of the ruffians concerned, but in vain.

It was not many months after this event, that Colonel Blood formed the extraordinary design of stealing the crown of England, and he contrived his plot with great artfulness. The regalia were at this time in the care of an aged but most trustworthy keeper, named Talbot Edwards, and Blood’s first aim was to make his acquaintance. Accordingly, he one day in April went to the Tower, in the disguise of a parson, with a woman whom he represented as his wife, for the purpose of visiting the regalia. After they had seen them, the lady pretended to be taken ill, upon which they were conducted into the keeper’s lodgings, where Mr. Edwards gave her a cordial, and treated her otherwise with kindness. They parted with professions of thankfulness, and a few days afterwards the pretended parson returned with half-a-dozen pairs of gloves, as a present to Mrs. Edwards, in acknowledgment of her courtesy.

An intimacy thus gradually arose between Blood and the Edwardses, who appear to have formed a sincere esteem for him; and at length he proposed a match between their daughter and a supposed nephew of his, whom he represented as possessed of two or three hundred a-year in land. It was accordingly agreed, at Blood’s suggestion, that he should bring his nephew to be introduced to the young lady at seven o’clock in the morning on the 9th of May (people began the day much earlier then than now); and he farther asked leave to bring with him two friends, who, he said, wished to see the regalia, and it would be a convenience to them to be admitted at that early hour, as they were going to leave town in the forenoon.

Accordingly, as we are told by Strype, who received his narrative from the lips of the younger Edwards, ‘at the appointed time, the old man had got up ready to receive his guest, and the daughter had put herself into her best dress to entertain her gallant, when, behold! parson Blood, with three more, came to the jewel house, all armed with rapier blades in their canes, and every one a dagger and a pair of pocket pistols. Two of his companions entered in with him, and a third stayed at the door, it seems, for a watch.’ At Blood’s wish, they first went to see the regalia, that his friends might be at liberty to return; but as soon as the door was shut upon them, as was the usual practice, they seized the old man, and bound and gagged him, threatening to take his life if he made the smallest noise. Yet Edwards persisted in attempting to make all the noise he could, upon which they knocked him down by a blow on the head with a wooden mallet, and, as he still remained obstinate, they beat him on the head with the mallet until he became insensible; but recovering a little, and hearing them say they believed him to be dead, he thought it most prudent to remain quiet. The three men now went deliberately to work; Blood placing the crown for concealment under his cloak, while one of his companions, named Parrot, put the orb in his breeches, and the other proceeding to file the sceptre in two, for the convenience of putting it in a bag.

The three ruffians would probably thus have succeeding in executing their design, but for the opportune arrival of a son of Mr. Edwards from Flanders, accompanied by his brother-in-law, a Captain Beckman, who, having exchanged a word with the man who watched at the door, proceeded upstairs to the apartments occupied by the Edwardses. Blood and his companions thus interrupted, immediately decamped with the crown and orb, leaving the sceptre, which they had not time to file.

Old Edwards, as soon as they had left the room, began to shout out, ‘Treason! Murder!’ with all his might; and his daughter, rushing out into the court, gave the alarm, and cried out that the crown was stolen. The robbers reached the drawbridge without hindrance, but there the warder attempted to stop them, on which Blood discharged a pistol at him. As he fell down, though unhurt, they succeeded in clearing the other gates, reached the wharf, and were making for St. Katherine’s-gate, where horses were ready for them, when they were overtaken by Captain Beckman.

Blood discharged his second pistol at the captain’s head, but he escaped hurt by stooping, and immediately seized upon Blood, who struggled fiercely; but finding escape impossible, when he saw the crown wrested from his grasp, he is said to have exclaimed, in a tone of disappointment, ‘It was a gallant attempt, however unsuccessful; for it was for a crown!’ A few of the jewels fell from the crown in the struggle, but all that were of any value were recovered and restored to their places. Blood and Parrot (who had the orb and the most valuable jewel of the sceptre in his pocket) were secured and lodged in the White Tower, and three others of the party were subsequently captured.

The king, when informed of this extraordinary outrage, ordered Blood and Parrot to be brought to Whitehall to be examined in his presence. There Blood behaved with insolent effrontery He avowed that he was the leader in the attempt upon the life of the Duke of Ormond, in the preceding year, and that it was his intention to hang him at Tyburn; and he further stated that he, with others, had on another occasion concealed themselves in the reeds by the side of the Thames, above Battersea, to shoot the king as he passed in his barge; and that he, Blood, had taken aim at him with his carbine, but that ‘his heart was checked by an awe of majesty,’ and that he had not only relented himself, but had prevented his companions from proceeding in their design. This story was probably false, but it seems to have had its designed effect on the king, which was no doubt strengthened by Blood’s further declaration that there were hundreds of his friends yet undiscovered (he pretended to have acted for one of the discontented parties in the state), who were all bound by oath to revenge each other’s death, which ‘would expose his majesty and all his ministers to the daily fear and expectation of a massacre.

But, on the other side, if his majesty would spare the lives of a few, he might oblige the hearts of many; who, as they had been seen to do daring mischief, would be as bold, if received into pardon and favour, to perform eminent services for the crown.’ The singularity of the crime, the grand impudence of the offender, united perhaps with a fear of the threatened consequences, induced the king to save Blood from the vengeance of the law. He not only pardoned the villain, but gave him a grant of land in Ireland, by which he might subsist, and even took him into some degree of favour. It is alleged that Blood occasionally obtained court favours for others, of course for ‘a consideration.’ Charles received a rather cutting rebuke for his conduct from the Duke of Ormond, who had still the right of prosecuting Blood for the attempt on his life. When the king resolved to take the ruffian into his favour, he sent Lord Arlington to inform the duke that it was his pleasure that he should not prosecute Blood, for reasons which he was to give him; Arlington was interrupted by Ormond, who said, with formal politeness, that ‘his majesty’s command was the only reason that could be given; and therefore he might spare the rest.’

Edwards and his son, who had been the means of saving the regalia—one by his brave resistance, and the other by his timely arrival—were treated with neglect; the only rewards they received being grants on the exchequer, of two hundred pounds to the old man, and one to his son, which they were obliged to sell for half their value, through difficulty in obtaining payment.

After he had thus gained favour at court, Blood took up his residence in Westminster; and he is said by tradition to have inhabited an old mansion forming the corner of Peter and Tufton streets. Evelyn, not long after the date of the attempt on the crown, speaks of meeting Blood in good society, but remarks his ‘villanous, unmerciful look; a false countenance, but very well spoken, and dangerously insinuating.’ He died on the 24th of August, 1680.

April 25


Canadians defeat the Chinese at Kapyong

The Korean War began with a North Korean invasion of the South, a surprise attack which just about succeeded in conquering the whole peninsula but which was eventually driven back by American troops. The American occupying forces were joined by troops of other countries in a war authorized by the United Nations. Among them were Canadian soldiers.

The U.N. counterattack pushed the North Koreans deep into their own territory but, in October 1950, hundreds of thousands of Communist Chinese troops crossed the Yalu river and forced U.N. units to retreat. The front gradually stabilized around the original border on the 38th parallel. The Canadian Encyclopedia tells the story of the epic battle at Kapyong:

In mid-April, the Chinese withdrew just past the 38th Parallel as part of a plan to lure UN forces into a position where they would be vulnerable to a major counter attack, which was unleashed on the South Korean army on 22 April 1951. The South Koreans were dislodged by the Chinese offensive, and the following day the British brigade was ordered to protect the South Korean withdrawal through the Kapyong River valley (about 20 kilometers south of the 38th parallel in central Korea).

The second battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI), and the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, were assigned forward hilltop positions, the Canadians on the west side of the valley and the Australians on the east.

The Australians bore the brunt of the initial attack and after heavy combat were forced to withdraw, with 155 casualties, late on 24 April. While the Australians fought, Stone ordered his Canadians, about 700 troops, to dig in on Hill 677 and prepare to repel a large brigade of massing Chinese forces, estimated at nearly 5,000-strong. After attacking the Australians, the Chinese turned their attention to the PPCLI, which managed — through heavy all-night fighting on 24 and 25 April — to stop the Chinese advance.

At one point in the battle, 400 Chinese soldiers descended on a single Canadian company of roughly 100 men, but the attack was repelled with numerous examples of valour: Private Wayne Mitchell, despite being wounded, charged the enemy three times with his Bren gun. He earned the Distinguished Conduct medal for his efforts.

The Chinese launched most of their attacks at night, in successive waves, using an intensive and aggressive approach of mortars, grenades and machine gun fire close to the Canadian front. On the night of the 24th, the Canadian battalion headquarters was attacked, and the assault was repelled with heavy fire.

The relentless waves of Chinese soldiers almost overran the position of D Company. With his men securely entrenched below ground, company commander Captain J. G. W. Mills, desperate and overrun, called for an artillery strike on the position of his own 10 Platoon. A battery of New Zealander guns obliged, firing 2,300 rounds of shells in less than an hour, destroying the Chinese forces on that position. The following night, Private Kenneth Barwise recovered the lost Vickers machine gun position in D Company, grabbed the gun, and ran back to his platoon. He had also single-handedly killed six Chinese soldiers during the attack on D Company, earning the Military Medal.

Amid the fighting, Stone refused to allow his men to withdraw — believing that the hill was a critical strategic point on the UN front — thereby stemming the tide of the Chinese offensive. While they defended the hill, the Canadians were cut off, and had to be supplied via air drop, allowing them to continue the fight until the Chinese retreated. As Canadian soldier Gerald Gowing remembered: “We were surrounded on the hills of Kapyong and there was a lot of fire. We were pretty well out of ammunition and out of food too. We did get some air supplies dropped in, but we were actually surrounded . . . that was a scary moment, let me tell you.”

The 2PPCLI were eventually relieved on the front line by a battalion of the 1st US Cavalry Division

The holding action of the Australians and Canadians at Kapyong allowed the UN forces to consolidate their troops for the next stage of operations. The Canadians had fought tenaciously against a Chinese army with a force several times their size. Stone, and other veterans of the Second World War, utilized their experiences in fighting on the rugged terrain of Sicily and Italy and applied it to the hills of Korea to good effect, but at a price. There were 23 Canadian casualties, including 10 soldiers killed, as well as an estimated 2,000 Chinese casualties.

The battle contributed significantly to the defeat of the general Chinese offensive against the South that spring, protecting the capital city of Seoul from re-occupation, and plugging the hole in the UN line to give the South Koreans time to retreat. The wider Communist offensive of 1951 was halted about a week after the battle, and from that point on the Korean conflict became largely a war of patrols and enemy harassment, rather than large-scale attacks, as the front lines stabilized and the two sides embarked on peace talks.

Both the Canadians and the Australians received the United States Presidential Unit Citation from the American government, the first time a Canadian unit had been so honoured.

April 24

1184 BC

The end of the Trojan War

Now as for the carrying off of women, it is the deed, they say, of a rogue: but to make a stir about such as are carried off, argues a man a fool. Men of sense care nothing for such women, since it is plain that without their own consent they would never be forced away. The Asiatics, when the Greeks ran off with their women, never troubled themselves about the matter; but the Greeks, for the sake of a single Lacedaemonian girl, collected a vast armament, invaded Asia, and destroyed the kingdom of Priam.

So said Herodotus, the inventor of history. In trying to explain the centuries-old antipathy between Europe and Asia, he had recourse to the story of the Trojan war, a 10-year siege prompted by the kidnapping of Helen of Sparta by a prince of Troy. This story was told most famously by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey but also by dozens of oral bards, Greek playwrights, and Roman poets.

For centuries, scholars debated the truth of these legends and most were sceptical; it was not until the excavations undertaken in 1873 by Heinrich Schliemann on a mound near Hisarlik that academics began to take the existence of a Bronze Age Troy seriously. Schliemann’s discovery of golden treasures there and at Mycenae in Greece convinced many that the events described by Homer had actually taken place (even though the archaeological layer Schliemann declared to be Homeric was later shown to be too early in time.)

If the Trojan War legends do describe a real conflict between a prosperous city guarding the entrance to the Black Sea and a confederation of Greek raiders, when did it take place? My money is on the calculation by the Alexandrian Greek genius, Eratosthenes, who placed the end of the war at 1184 BC, a date that corresponds to Level VII on the chart below.

April 21


The Hutt River Principality is declared

The Principality of Hutt River, situated 595 km north of Perth, Western Australia and about 75 square km in area, declared its independence from Australia under the rule of His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I of Hutt, born Leonard Casley. His wife was styled “Her Royal Highness Princess Shirley of Hutt, Dame of the Rose of Sharon.” His son, Prince Graeme, succeeded to the throne upon his father’s abdication at the age of 91.

The declaration of sovereignty arose over a dispute about a wheat production quota. When Casley got nowhere with his protests, he renounced Australian claims on his land and set up his own sovereign state which has issued its own stamps and coins for some decades. The principality has been engaged in legal wrangles with the Australian government which refuses to recognize its independence and Australian courts have declared that “the arguments advanced by the applicants [were] fatuous, frivolous and vexatious.” Nonetheless the Crasley dynasty maintains its claims and attracts thousands of tourists a year to its desolate domain.

April 19


Australia chooses a national anthem

In 1878 the song “Advance Australia Fair” was first performed. Its composer Peter Dodds McCormick said of it:

One night I attended a great concert in the Exhibition Building, when all the National Anthems of the world were to be sung by a large choir with band accompaniment. This was very nicely done, but I felt very aggravated that there was not one note for Australia. On the way home in a bus, I concocted the first verse of my song & when I got home I set it to music. I first wrote it in the Tonic Sol-fa notation, then transcribed it into the Old Notation, & I tried it over on an instrument next morning, & found it correct. Strange to say there has not been a note of it altered since. Some alteration has been made in the wording, but the sense is the same. It seemed to me to be like an inspiration, & I wrote the words & music with the greatest ease. 

Here is a 1927 rendition of it, replete with British jingoism that a later generation would excise. Fans of royalty will note the appearance of our Queen and her late consort.

Though widely popular, it did not replace “God Save the Queen” as the national anthem until a referendum in which “Advance Australia Fair” nudged out “Waltzing Matilda” as the winner. The current version, more politically correct than the original, now reads:

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.
Verse 2
Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

April 13


Birth of the Most Hated Woman in America

Madalyn Murray O’Hair was a cantankerous and foul-mouthed activist and one of the most influential women of her generation. Her relentless court cases and her founding of American Atheists scored a number of victories for godlessness and the separation of church and state in America.

Born into a Presbyterian family, she led a disordered life for some time, marrying, serving in the Second World War, discarding a husband, taking a lover, having children by different men, battling depression, and fleeing to Europe to defect to the Soviet Union, which she respected for its state atheism. After the USSR declined her bid for citizenship, O’Hair returned to Baltimore where she launched a lawsuit against the local school board for requiring Bible readings. The case reached the Supreme Court in 1963 and O’Hair was victorious: compulsory Bible readings were outlawed in American public schools. She would go on to try and prevent an astronaut from a Bible reading in space; she encouraged governments to tax the Catholic Church; she railed against the phrase “In God We Trust” on currency; and tried to ban the pope from holding mass in a public park. She served as the president or de facto leader of American Atheists from 1963 to 1995.

Her oldest son, William Murray, left atheism for Christianity and was disinherited by his mother. She remarked on his apostasy: “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human forgiveness.” He is now a Baptist minister and continues to speak out against O’Hair’s irreligion.

In 1995, she, her son Jon, and her grand-daughter Robin were kidnapped by a former employee of American Atheists and forced to withdraw considerable sums of money before they were murdered, dismembered and buried on a Texas ranch.

A recent movie, The Most Hated Woman in America, cast the attractive actress Melissa Leo as O’Hair. Somewhere, O’Hair is snickering.

April 6

A very grim day in history with a number of catastrophic events.


Louis IX (later St Louis), King of France, is captured by Muslim forces during the ill-fated Seventh Crusade. He will be ransomed and return home, but will not lose the crusading spirit. On his next attempt to invade North Africa he will die at Tunis.


Mehmet II begins the Ottoman siege of Constantinople which will eventually capture the city and bring down the Byzantine Empire.


A rebellion by black slaves to burn down New York breaks out. It begins with arson and then an ambush of white people, killing 9 and wounding 6. The perpetrators were hunted down and captured; most of them were burnt at the stake, though one was broken on the wheel. Laws were tightened to prevent any repetition of such an uprising.


Quebec politician Pierre Elliot Trudeau wins the Liberal Party leadership and becomes Prime Minister. Canada has yet to recover.


Major League Baseball sanctions the use of the “designated hitter” for the American League. The National League continues to hold out against this hideous innovation.

April 4


Spain expels the Moriscos

The Iberian peninsula was invaded by Arab and Berber conquerors in the eighth century. In addition to the Islamic religion, these migrants brought with them new crops and agricultural techniques and connects to the wider Muslim world of trade and culture. This made for a rich and prosperous culture, in which many Christian subjects decided to participate and change religions. There was considerable intermarriage between the original inhabitants and the newcomers. The Moors, as they were called, did not succeed in subjugating the whole peninsula, however; for centuries, Christian kingdoms in the north of Spain fought back, gradually driving Islamic dominions southward. Muslim Spaniards tended to not wish to live under Christian rule and when their rulers were defeated they most often migrated too, leaving the land to be resettled by Catholics.

In 1492, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile completed the Christian reconquest of Spain. Despite promises of religious toleration, they soon demanded that those Muslims unwilling to convert should leave the country (a similar demand was made of Jews.) Thousands left and resettled in North Africa but many stayed behind and changed religions (at least on the surface). These “Moriscos” were always regarded with suspicion by the government who believed that their real allegiance was to Islam, at a time when Spain was fighting for control of the Mediterranean with Muslim powers. From 1568-73 an attempt by Philip II to ban the use of Arabic and Arab clothing, and to force church education on Morisco children resulted in several rebellions. Relations between these New Christians and the Old Christians was always tense, and increasingly so as the Spanish economy failed to prosper despite the influx of gold from the Americas.

Pressure grew on the government of Philip III to expel the ex-Muslim population as a threat to Spanish security. The king was also attracted to the notion of confiscating their property for the crown and so in April, 1609, the first of a series of expulsions was enforced at the point of a sword. The refugees could take only what they could carry; their land and homes were to be confiscated, and any vandalism to this property as they left was punishable by death. Rebellions broke out, especially as those yet to be expelled learned of the harsh treatment given to them in North Africa. Historians are still debating the number of those expelled; estimates range from 300,000 to 1,000,000.

Like many of the Spanish government’s religious and racial policies, this atrocity was self-defeating. Whole towns were left deserted; agricultural production in many provinces of Spain collapsed — prices rose, rents had to be raised on remaining (Christian) tenants, landlords with no cheap Morisco labour to draw on were bankrupted. The expulsion was unpopular with much of the Christian population who often helped their Muslim neighbours evade the order or who aided them to return later. The government of Philip IV gave up on further prosecutions and looked the other way when Moriscos returned.

April 3


Martin Luther King gives his final speech

By 1968 Martin Luther King Jr., the Baptist clergyman who was a leading figure in the American civil rights movement and the winner of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, was an even more controversial figure than he had been during the campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s. Many white Americans who had supported him during the Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington, or the demonstrations in Selma had grown uneasy when he spoke of his opposition to the war in Vietnam, economic reparations for blacks, and what sounded like socialist economic solutions to poverty. To King, however, these issues were all of a piece and were a seamless appeal for justice. That commitment brought him to Tennessee in the spring of 1968 to support a strike by African-American sanitation workers against the city of Memphis (pictured above).

On April 3, 1968 in the Mason Temple, headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, King gave his last speech, one that was eerily prophetic and ended with this affirmation:

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really 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 its 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 mountain. 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!

And 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.

Within 24 hours King was dead from an assassin’s rifle bullet.