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Capitol observes 44th anniversary of MLK Jr. assembly

By David Harten

This article was originally published April 4, 2012 at 12:47 p.m. Updated April 4, 2012 at 1:53 p.m.

Public gathers to commemorate MLK assembly

Officials and dignitaries joined the public Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the 44th anniversary of...

— State officials gathered with the public on Wednesday afternoon to observe the 44th anniversary of Little Rock's assembly to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. days after his assassination.

The original assembly was held four days after King was shot and killed in Memphis, with then-Arkansas Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller leading a list of dignitaries from the region in recognizing Dr. Kings' accomplishments during the Civil Rights Movement.

This assembly, held in front of hundreds in the same place it was 44 years ago — on the front steps of the Capitol Building — featured speeches from Lt. Gov. Mark A Darr, former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, Dr. William "Sonny" Walker, who was at the assembly in 1968, and a reenactment of Rockefeller's speech by his grandson, William Rockefeller. Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola also attended the event.

Students and teachers from various schools in the city including Rockefeller and Mabelvale elementary schools, McClellan and Parkview high schools and singing ensembles from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Philander Smith College also attended and performed on the capitol steps.

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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