Thousands of admirers grateful for the civil rights icon's life and legacy mourned his loss and pledged to carry on his unfinished work to end racial injustice and economic inequality.

Admirers grateful for Martin Luther King Jr’s life and legacy mourned his loss and pledged to carry on his unfinished work to end racial injustice and economic inequality, April 4, 2018.
Admirers grateful for Martin Luther King Jr’s life and legacy mourned his loss and pledged to carry on his unfinished work to end racial injustice and economic inequality, April 4, 2018. (AFP)

Bells rang out across the US on Wednesday to mark the moment Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated 50 years ago, as Americans paid tribute to the civil rights leader and reflected on how to carry forward his legacy.

In a country still torn by racial and class divisions, thousands of demonstrators rallied in Memphis, Tennessee where the pastor and Nobel Peace Prize winner was slain aged 39 on a motel balcony on April 4, 1968.

Bells tolled 39 times at 2301 GMT  (6:01pm)  the moment King was shot, in Memphis and around the nation to honour the icon whose moral courage helped bring lasting changes to American life.

TRT World's Jon Brain reports on the lasting impact King had on the civil rights movements.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies