tv Reel America CBS News Martin Luther King - Assassination and Aftermath CSPAN April 1, 2018 10:05am-10:35am EDT
whether she has arrived there are not, we have not been advised. we have just been advised that governor buford ellington has ordered 4000 national guard troops into the city. the curfew has been clamped on memphis. >> 50 years ago on april 4, 1960 leader, martin luther king jr., was assassinated at the lorraine motel in memphis, tennessee. the month -- the nobel peace prize winner was in the city to support a sanitation worker strike or it up next on reel america, a special report from the day after the assassination. news anchor harry reasoner and -- harry reasoner and many correspondents report on widespread burning and looting in washington, d.c. and chicago and the reaction of president lyndon johnson and other leaders. the report also includes a segment from memphis showing where and how the assassination happened. and martin luther king's body lying in state at a funeral home. >> i am the resurrection and the sayethsaith the lord -- the lord.
he that liveth in me and believeth in me shall never die. the lord gave, the lord hath taken away. blessed be the name of the lord. harry: good evening, this is harry reasoner. a day after the death of dr. martin luther king the nation has two questions. one, has the murder of been caught? he has not. authorities say they will catch him. two, what has the effect been? the nation has not caught fire, but there is a country ride -- countrywide reaction. turmoil in a dozen cities were 40, including the capital city. regular troops are on duty there. the number of places that the national guard has been called
out, probably set a record for domestic disturbance. many said tonight are quoting dr. king who himself, never wanted to be cited in defense of violence. in mississippi, in 1966 after james meredith was shot he spoke with bitterness and passion about what was then the new gospel of the black militants. >> i am disturbed about a strange spirit that is circulating. telling me that i ought to end who has been killing and lynching people and throwing them in rivers. now people are telling me to stoop down to their level. oh no. [applause] oh no! is reason i will not do it that i am not going to allow anybody to pull me so low as to methods.
i am sick and tired of that. i am tired of the war in vietnam! i am tired of war and conflict in the world! i am tired of shooting! i am tired of hate! i am tired of selfishness! i am tired of evil! i am not going to use violence, no matter who says it! [applause] harry: 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 is not fallen. -- lyndon b. johnson: the voice 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 and to fulfill -- deny violence its victory and to fulfill the vision of brotherhood and gave purpose to martin luther king jr.'s life and his works. harry: president johnson issued that appealed to the nation at the white house today. a day in which the war in vietnam was pushed into the background. washington, chicago, detroit, boston, new york are a few of the cities in which the negro over dr. king's murder, presumably by a white man, expressed itself in violent destruction. detroit, the scene of the worst rioting is under a curfew tonight with some 3000 national guardsmen on duty to enforce it. a young negro was killed tonight, accidentally according to police, who said that he
struck a policeman's revolver, setting it off. boston is being protected by a force of several thousand guardsmen mobilized after a day of racial confrontations. in new york, police are out in full force, they have experienced window-breaking and looting of stores along broadway and sixth and seventh avenues. in late afternoon good smoke of racial vandalism drifted across the white house itself and president johnson declared a state of emergency. it resulted in the unthinkable act of it army group to protect troops deployed to protect the capitol and the white house. for a report on washington violence here is steve. were putme buildings to the torch and police made periodic sweeps up and down the street, tossing teargas on to the crowds. that did not deter the negroes. they resumed running from store to store together up everything they could get. it did not matter 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 they quickly realized that the officers would not shoot. any were satisfied with only arm full. but others loaded bigger items into the vehicles. a few were too ambitious, curious or haps, like the college students who wanted to see that they could get a big radio tv record layer combination into a small car. it just would not fit. and, their korea city got these cats -- their curiosity, got these cats arrested. some of the looters were just children. others came prepared with tools to rip off protective bars. as negroes cheered excitedly glass shattered or doors caved in. there were many who took no part in the break-in but they took advantage of the openings provided other younger men.
there was one woman who found what she wanted, but then cannot could not find any young men to help her carry off her prize. the officers apparently had been told to avoid violence. while they roughed up some of those they arrest had, they made no real attempt to catch most of the looters. many of those arrested got caught, because it worked 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 responded with tear -- responding with tear gas, the officers generally ignored the brakes and bottles thrown at them -- bricks and bottles thrown at them. they knew that they were seriously understrength for any major outbreak of violence. many of them were hoping of for a callout of the national guard. the crowd for its part, never y, they hadly ugly w
very little interference during the afternoon. [sirens] steve: seven streets from the air -- 7th street from the air looks like a row of chimneys. the trouble was spreading and mayor washington plant down a curfew and canceled the cherry blossom festival scheduled for the 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 said the incidence of fires seem to be lessening. somewhat, that assessment based on a helicopter trip over the city. three deaths have been reported in the washington writing. there are no details. more than 350 persons have been treated for injuries.
among them, several policemen and firemen to riyadh was hampered by the sheer volume of the loss. some firefighting units were in the city from suburban areas. [sirens] spread and arrests increased. at this hour, more than 700 people have been a rest, did some of them picked up in spot checks by the police and during curfew. more than 4000 national guard and regular army troops moved into the city to reinforce the sump 1200 policeman on duty, they were dispersed 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 joined mayor,
walter washington in directing operations. the first night of disorder put the capital city on edge. tonight, has been far worse and has still many more hours to go. cbs news, washington. harry: earlier today, after last night's of the capital died down and before the day began, mr. johnson proclaimed sunday as a national day of mourning for dr. king throughout the united states. mr. johnson also issued an order of dr. king's aerial and that the american flag is to be brought at half staff in all federal government buildings around the world. the assassination and its aftermath temporarily pushed aside the president's plans to pursue his new vietnam peace efforts at the white house. we got the latest on the president's plans and his mood from the cbs news correspondent , dan rather. dan: a violent afternoon faded into a sunset mixing with black blowing from burning
downtown buildings, just behind a half staff flag over the white house. there is a sad president in there tonight. he is walking around with short sleeves, his collar undone, disappointed that the best he has done is not calmed washington down. he had seven hours of conferences. sunday is a national day of mourning and prayer. he requested a joint session of theress monday evening for president to adjust on civil order and justice and scheduled canceled his scheduled trip to honolulu. anyone civil with 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 but declined, sending a telegram expressing full support for the president to stop the violence. mr. johnson interrupted the session to attend memorial
services of dr. king's at the national cathedral. the supreme court, the cabinet and several thousand others attended the church, the largest crowd in its history, larger than john kennedy's. at the white house, mr. johnson resumed his discussion with white leaders. justice thurgood marshall and housing director robert weaver to riyadh u.s. army rolled up behind the white house just before the sun went down. the president ordered the soldiers not to ring the white house. that would be left to government police in hopes of using the impact overseas. it was the saddest day of the johnson presidency since that in 1963, when he returned to washington from dallas. dan rather, cbs news, the white house. >> washington bore the front of the daytime violence. but chicago claimed the fearful distinction as night fell. there, 6000 national guardsmen were called to duty as fires raged for a 16-block area.
garfield park, known as a bleak negro ghetto. looting vandalism and burning beginning the afternoon as thousands of schoolchildren lest left of their classes. by late afternoon, as national guardsmen were being alerted, the trouble reached alarming proportions and these fires were started. the looting went largely unchallenged. the scenes are all too familiar. too, ofwomen, children all ages, caring articles of all description, televisions ads clothing, furniture, food. police often ignored and were ignored by looters. the area on fire is west madison street which points directly west from chicago's famed loop district. for the first several hours, no significant shooting incidents were reported. the word sniper was not heard. now, that has changed. several deaths are reported,
including two negro's who were killed by sniper fire. the number of arrests is in the hundreds. special booking and bonding arrangements are being made for tomorrow. authorities have lost count of the number of buildings burning out of control. a water pressure problem has developed in the past hour and firemen find themselves unable to make even the most modest efforts. roughly half the firemen and fire engine's in chicago are now engaged. the illinois national guard was alerted late in the day and as they took to the streets, mayor daley was making a plea for common order. >> we must have respect for the rights of all people. we ask, on behalf of chicago, for all parents, all children, all citizens, stand up today and tonight, and be proud of the grateful witty, be proud of the
city which has given opportunity to all. protect the city and work and cooperate with the police department, the national guard and the fine fire department. i ask you this sincerely, and i ask you it, personally, and on behalf of yourself. let us show to the united states and of the world, what the citizenry of chicago is made of. >> in memphis, u.s. attorney general said authorities are close to the arrest of dr. king's murderer. he said, the investigation has led several hundred miles beyond tennessee's borders, but there is quite a bit of evidence and although the killer has not been positively identified, he expressed confidence for a n early solution. clark 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 on today's
developments, here is ike, bill and peter. first, pappas with a reconstruction of the slaying. >> eyewitnesses say that dr. king left his room at 3:06 at the lorraine hotel to get some air. he walked over to the railing, at this spot and noticing some friends below, he leaned over and began to speak with him. police say, 205 feet away, in a window in a flophouse, the assassin waited. he waited, police believe, in a bathroom down the hall from the room rented but four hours earlier. to get a clear shot of his victim, the assassin apparently had to stand on the bathtub, leaning forward to brace his arms on the window ledge to study his rifle to riyadh 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 decrepit hallway, turning, he raced down the rickety wood stairs and out. one policeman said he faded.
mike pappas, cbs news, memphis. >> just at 8:00 this morning, dr. martin luther king's body was brought here for one hour. hundreds paid their respects. they were old, dressed for work, 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 riot sticks to hold back the crowd and writing of newsmen and spectators. was placed aboard for the last journey home to atlanta. a judge in memphis approved a march that martin luther king
had planned to lead the next monday. cbs news, memphis. >> dr. king's body came home on a plane chartered by new york senator, robert kennedy. hundreds of people took the time off from their jobs together in the overcast weather. his chief aides were joined by by atlanta mayor, ivan allen who earlier was banned from participating in a black negro march. many stood quietly as after king's wife and children left the plane. the rain stopped just before the plane arrived. ladd that motorcade from the airport through downtown atlanta to a funeral home a few blocks away from the state capital. another 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, reverend a.d. king came here from the will avail. -- from louisville. the acting president of the southern christian leadership conference, reverend abernathy, spoke to the people t. >> may i have your attention. he was a man that did not believe in violence. he lived in nonviolence. >> yes god! >> he lived it and this is the way he died. >> dr. king's funeral has been scheduled for tuesday morning at ebenezer baptist church in atlanta where he and his father served as copastor. s. kennedyjacqueline speaking on her own loss appeals to americans. i weep for mrs. king and for her children for the census act of hate -- she said. when will our country learned that to live by the sword is to
perish by the sword. the morning simple eyes by a -- symbolized by his service in cleveland. >> thousands of people gathered for a memorial prayer service were mayor carl asked for a -- for a memorial prayer service where mayor carl stokes asked for a continuance. you can kill a man, but you cannot kill an idea. ideal fora and the which dr. martin luther king stood, for which he lived and for which he died will continue to live in this country. it will continue to live in this city. despite the sorrow on all of us -- under which all of us are in there will on the morrow, there will be a
resurgence of him being 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. reporter: who do you see will take over leadership now that dr. king's gone? who will be the moderating force? >> the president of the united states, the congress, i just don't see this kind of separation anymore. i think i am a leader, of people of whatever color. the people who would engage in violence, whether lacquer white, there are not leaders of decent people. i think the problem is decent people versus in decent people. indecents i people. the time has come that this big
silent blob of americans who claim that they are so decent, they must begin to speak up. the problem is too serious now to be left to the kook and the crackpots, whatever color they are. the decent people have to take over. >> president johnson will address congress monday night in a speech to be broadcast over many cbs stations. what he plans to put forward is still being worked out. we hear about it from cbs correspondent roger. roger: the white house has no clear idea what the president will say. -- what he will propose to the congress when he addresses a joint session on monday. there was talk this afternoon at the white house, meaning from young of the urban league and walter washington, the capital cities commissioner. the president promised to do everything within his power and his -- in his remaining nine months in office. what they demanded was an immediate passage of the open housing bill, already scheduled to emerge from the house rules committee on tuesday, and a
massive spending program in the neighborhood of $30 billion for jobs and low-cost housing. the president is expected to push for the open housing bill, but this can hardly be classed as a memorial for dr. king because it would have cleared him of the memphis murder. the spending program is mr. johnson's own state of the union proposal, totaling $8 billion and has not moved an inch since january. any new programs will run immediately into budget deficits, tax increases and the and the slow appropriations process. if he is to succeed monday night, the president will need a n electric proposal whether congress -- while the congress is still in a state of shock. harry: the black power militant urge negroes today 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 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 is 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 as a dirty in this -- as victory in -- to deny violence a victory in this sorrowful time and in all times to come.
and no words of hours, no words void of thefill the eloquent voice that has been spilled -- stilled. deepens, i do believe the dream of martin luther king jr. has not died with him. deeply,his i do believe that 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
bullet, by only by the ballot of free and of just men. >> throughout most of the country of course, there is no violence, but there was a general uneasiness everywhere and there is wide, scattered violence. our correspondent assesses the situation. reporter: no one can be sure if the violence is to grow and spread or contract. in many city ghettos, emotions are poised on the knife edge. it only takes one brick thrown, one fire set their top set loose mob action. news funnels and concentrates far scattered events. to people far away, it may look as if americans are burning down all their great cities. they are not likely to. in each city, the violence is usually confined to a few blocks out of thousands. looters numbering scores of 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 the lone, sick criminal, empowered by the modern rifle with a telescopic eye. almost none of the assassinations of our great men in our history have in the result of conspiracy. the murder of lincoln was a quasi-conspiracy, a group of misfits hastily thrown together. the truest conspiracy is the attempt on president truman, and that failed. those who understood dr. king are weeping tonight, they are not throwing rocks. pride light human at the bottom of these explosions. but it is hard to think of yelling, exuberant teenagers smashing the shops of fellow
negroes as rebels with a cause, sharing the weight of history on their backs. it is little hard to think of well-dressed men and women stealing from other negroes as people crazed by grief. indeed, most of them seemed to laugh as they grabbed her. . so far as one could tell from the terse reports, no race riots has occurred, only riots. cities had such years ago, white s against blacks, en masse, and there were casualties. we have a good chance to snuff out the scattered preliminary flames before any firestorm begins. burns.the atmosphere >> at this hour, there is unrest in many places, but it is not out of control anywhere. the murderer is that large, but the attorney general says that he will be caught. sunday is a national day of mourning.
on monday, the president addresses congress area 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, and the people who provide telephones and the equipment that connects them. ago on april 9, 1968, funeral services were held in atlanta for martin luther king jr., who had been shot and killed five days earlier in memphis, tennessee. up next on "reel america," cbs news coverage from ebenezer baptist church, where one of king's closest friends presided over his service. the program continues with scenes of the procession, as thousands of mourners follow the ca