My family has a distant connection to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Fifty years ago I was in kindergarten.

A committee my dad was working on hoped to ally with the civil rights movement and increase bargaining strength.

My dad was a representative for an industrial labor union and frequently would travel on union business.  In April of 1968 he was attending meetings in Washington.  These events allowed him to meet such luminaries as Julian Bond and Walter Mondale.

A committee my dad was working on hoped to ally with the civil rights movement and increase bargaining strength.  Many years later he explained the leadership of the other movement wasn’t interested in a joint front.

When King was killed in Memphis where he was attempting to mediate a sanitation strike my old man read the writing on the wall.  He quickly checked out of his DC hotel, caught a cab to the airport and flew home.  His hotel would later burn in the riots that followed.

All I really remember was when he walked through the front door, suitcase in one hand and a bag of toys in the other (he always brought us something from his trips).  I was 5 and events from the outside world didn’t make much of an impact on my life.  Or I barely noticed.