Skip to Content

Martin Luther King Jr.: The Later Years (1965 - 1968)

6 Favorites 6 Copies (view)
Civics +2 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equality did not end with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In his last years, King’s focus shifted toward achieving economic equality and combating poverty in the United States, denouncing the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, and contending with the rise of The Black Power Movement.

 This Learning Lab highlights documents, images, objects, and media from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and other Smithsonian units that help to tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s final years, his assassination, and his enduring legacy.

Keywords: nmaahc, Martin Luther King Jr, MLK, Jr., African American, civil rights, last years, Chicago, Vietnam, poverty, Poor People's Campaign, Resurrection City, Memphis, assassination, legacy, Coretta Scott King, Reverend 

Chicago Campaign

NMAAHC Education

Digital print of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Chicago Freedom Movement rally

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Digital print of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King at a rally

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Liberator Vol. 7 No. 5

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Black Power Movement

NMAAHC Education

Pinback button for a Freedom Ride organized by CORE

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Straw hat worn during the 1966 March Against Fear

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pin-back button for CORE and Black Power

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Stokely Carmichael

National Portrait Gallery

Pinback button of Malcolm X

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Tape recorder used by Malcolm X at Mosque #7

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Ballots or Bullets

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Black Power

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Vietnam War

NMAAHC Education

Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Poster against the Vietnam War

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Flyer advertising student strike against the Vietnam War

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photograph of Thomas Smith at base camp with inscription on back

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photograph of two American soldiers in Vietnam

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Harlem Peace March

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Vietnam tour jacket with black power embroidery

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Fight Against Poverty

NMAAHC Education

Martin Luther King, Jr.

National Portrait Gallery

The Assassination

NMAAHC Education

MLK's Last Speech

Smithsonian Channel

Photographic print of Ira Tucker at the Lorraine Motel

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Funeral Services

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Life Vol. 64 No. 16

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Martin Luther King, Jr. Funeral: King Family and Friends

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Dr. Ralph Abernathy addresses the audience inside Ebenezer Baptist Church

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Martin Luther King, Jr. Funeral: Honor King End Racism

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Poor People's Campaign

NMAAHC Education

Pinback button for the Poor People's Campaign

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Poster for Poor People's Campaign

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Mule Train from Mississippi going through the city of Washington, D.C. June, 1968

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Chromogenic print of an aerial view of Resurrection City

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Resurrection City: Untitled

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Plywood panel mural from Resurrection City

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Night scene at campfire - Resurrection City, Wash, D.C. - 1968

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Coretta Scott King

National Portrait Gallery

Button, "Now is the Time”

National Museum of American History

Handheld Church Fan, 1970s

National Museum of American History

Congressional Gold Medal for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King

National Museum of African American History and Culture