The march did, however, make specific demands: an end to racial segregation in public schools; meaningful civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discriminationin employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality; a $2 minimum wage for all workers; and self-government for Washington, D.C., then governed by congressional committee. Despitetensions, the march was a resounding success. More than a quarter million people of diverse ethnicities attended the event, sprawling from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial onto the National Mall andaround the reflecting pool. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington's history. King's "I Have a Dream" speech electrified the crowd during 17 minutes. It is regarded,along with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Franklin D. Roosevelt's Infamy Speech, as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory.
The March, and especially King's speech,helped put civil rights at the very top the liberal political agenda in the United States and facilitated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On April 3, King addressed a rally and delivered his"I've Been to the Mountaintop" address at Mason Temple, the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ. King's flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat against his plane. In theclose of the last speech of his career, in reference to the bomb threat, King said the following:
King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey, in Memphis. The Reverend RalphAbernathy, King's close friend and colleague who was present at the assassination, testified under oath to the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations that King and his entouragestayed at room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often it was known as the "King-Abernathy suite."
According to Jesse Jackson, who was present, King's last words on the balcony prior to his assassination...