National Park Service holds vigil at Central High for 50th anniversary of MLK's death

National Park Service holds vigil at Central High for 50th anniversary of MLK's death

When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Central High to watch Little Rock Nine member, Ernest Green, graduate, it was 10 years before his tragic death in Memphis.

On the 50th anniversary of that day, the National Park Service at Central High, wanted to have a special moment to remember the late civil rights leader.

Six in the evening is normally not a time to have a candlelight vigil, considering the sun is still out.

But there's a reason for that.

"Please join me in honoring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And his dream in a moment of silence," David Kilton, chief interpreter at Little Rock Central High School Historic Site for the National Park Service, said.

The time is 6:01 p.m. on April 4th, exactly 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee.

"It's been a pleasure and honor to be able to have this event and welcome those that are participating this evening," Kilton said.

Kilton helped put together this vigil because he says the Little Rock Nine had a major influence on Dr. King.

"[He] was inspired by individuals like Jackie Robinson and the Little Rock Nine who were able to stand for this change and do it nonviolently," Kilton said.

So, where history was made, these people light candles and honor one of the biggest history makers at the exact moment his life came to an end.

"It is an honor to be able to remember him and continue to share his legacy," said Kilton.

The event also featured keynote speaker Bob Zellner, a civil rights activist who was a freedom rider and had a relationship with Martin Luther King Jr.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off