Keeping the peace for Martin Luther King, Jr.
The country rioted after Martin Luther King's death. But in Atlanta, a respectful peace reigned.
(Keystone Pictures USA / Alamy Stock Photo)King's coffin was transferred to a wooden mule-drawn wagon, which called to mind royal funerals with their horse-drawn coaches. But King's version was chosen specifically for being so worn down and rugged — representative of the grounded work and people King lived and died for. The wagon, followed by King's family, friends, and fellow civil rights leaders, walked the four-mile route from the church to the campus of Morehouse College, King's alma mater. An estimated 150,000 people fanned out behind them in a solemn processional. Thousands more lined the streets to watch the coffin pass. Though the crowd occasionally broke out into song, the afternoon was remarkably quiet and peaceful, with just the sound of feet on pavement filling the air.