Thursday marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

King was fatally shot as he stood on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee.

Escaped convict and white supremacist James Earl Ray was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison.

martin luther king jr

It is 45 years since Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated

Below are some of King's most famous speeches in which he foresees great social progress, rails against the evils of war and warns that American freedoms guaranteed on paper are not granted to all.

Click here for the full text of one of King's most famous speeches, I Have a Dream.

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  • How Long? Not Long!

    Martin Luther King in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965.

  • "We Shall Overcome" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech. Created as part of a lesson plan for US History - Civil Rights - MLK Jr. Day

  • Martin Luther King, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"

    Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. against the "triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism." Audio. This speech was released by Black Forum records, a subsidiary of Motown, and went on to win a Grammy in 1970 for the Best Spoken Word Recording. Excerpts of a Sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967. Text of entire speech: husseini.org Real Audio file of entire speech: www.africanbynature.com

  • Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream Speech - August 28, 1963

    I Have a Dream Speech Martin Luther King's Address at March on Washington August 28, 1963. Washington, DC When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

  • MLK's Last Speech

    Conclusion of Famous Mountaintop Speech

  • Video's "Biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." info

    This feed contains the video's "Biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." info API

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  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Ralph Abernathy

    FILE -In this March 28, 1968 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, lead a march on behalf of striking Memphis, Tenn., sanitation workers. Forty-five years after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed supporting a historic sanitation workers strike in Memphis, the city’s garbage and trash collectors are fighting to hold on to jobs that some city leaders want to hand over to a private company. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Sam Melhorn, File)

  • Martin Luther King Jr

    FILE - In this Sept. 16, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gives a news conference in Birmingham, Ala., announcing he and other African-American leaders have called for federal Army occupation of Birmingham in the wake of the previous day's church bombing and shootings which left six black people dead. (AP Photo/File)

  • Martin Luther King Jr.

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, speaks to thousands during his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in Washington. Actor-singer Sammy Davis Jr., is at bottom right. It has been cited as one of America's essential ideals, its language suggestive of a constitutional amendment on equality: People should "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Yet 50 years after the King's monumental statement, there is considerable disagreement over what this quote means when it comes to affirmative action and other measures aimed at helping the disadvantaged. (AP Photo/File)

  • MARTIN LUTHER KING JR

    FILE - The late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is shown in this Oct. 24, 1966 file photo. The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday is celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, although the the actual anniversary of his birthday is Jan. 15. The Georgia native, who was born in Atlanta, would have been 83 years old. On Monday, a wreath will be laid at the new King Memorial on the National Mall, in Washington, which opened in August. Since then, the King Memorial Foundation says more than 2 million visitors from around the world have visited the memorial. (AP Photo, File)

  • MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

    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 following day King was assassinated on his motel balcony. The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday is celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, although the the actual anniversary of his birthday is Jan. 15. The Georgia native, who was born in Atlanta, would have been 83 years old. On Monday, a wreath will be laid at the new King Memorial on the National Mall, in Washington, which opened in August. Since then, the King Memorial Foundation says more than 2 million visitors from around the world have visited the memorial. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly, File)

  • MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday is celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, although the the actual anniversary of his birthday is Jan. 15. The Georgia native, who was born in Atlanta, would have been 83 years old. On Monday, a wreath will be laid at the new King Memorial on the National Mall, in Washington, which opened in August. Since then, the King Memorial Foundation says more than 2 million visitors from around the world have visited the memorial. (AP Photo, File)

  • FILE - In this undated photo, Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is shown. A proposal to rename nine blocks of Linden Avenue in Memphis, Tenn. to Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue is expected to pass Thursday when it comes before the Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board. As of Tuesday the board hadn’t received any comment opposing the honor for King, who was killed by assassin James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel. (AP Photo)

  • Martin Luther King Jr, Andrew Young

    FILE - In this Feb. 7, 1968 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., center, speaks to an audience, while promising a massive demonstration in the spring in Washington and hinting the crusade may be extended to the political party conventions in August. King, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said the demonstration in Washington will last for weeks and maybe for months. At left is the Rev. Andrew Young, executive Vice President of the Southern Conference. Veterans of past social movements, such as Young, say the Occupy Wall Street protest has been a welcome response to the abysmal economy and has the potential to galvanize wide support, but whether it will lead to lasting political change remains to be seen. “There’s a difference between an emotional outcry and a movement,” said Young, who worked alongside King as a strategist during the civil rights movement. “This is an emotional outcry. The difference is organization and articulation.” (AP Photo, File)

  • Martin Luther King Jr, Fred Shuttlesworth, Ralph Abernathy

    FILE - In a May 8, 1963 file photo, civil rights leaders, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., left, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, center, and Rev. Ralph Abernathy hold a news conference in Birmingham, Ala. The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who was hailed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for his courage and energy, died Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 at the Birmingham, Ala. hospital. He was 89. (AP Photo, File)