The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on the evening of April 4, 1968, sparked riots across cities in the United States. Though many in the country had reviled King during his lifetime, eventually he came to be seen as a great American hero. King's campaign for nonviolent social change ended legal segregation in America and left a blueprint for generations to follow in the country's ongoing struggle for racial and social progress.

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For AP's complete coverage marking 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, go to https://apnews.com/tag/MartinLutherKingJr