While it may not be etched in the memories of other Americans like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I can still remember where I was when I heard that Martin Luther King Jr. had been gunned down 43 years ago today on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis, Tenn.
I was a seventh grader at Seneca High School in Louisville, Ky. and was distraught that I wasn't able to go to school after fainting in the bathroom on the morning of my birthday. I can't remember what kind of sickness I had, but I was laying in the darkness of my parents' bedroom listening to the radio when the report of King's death came in. While I may not have appreciated King's place in the world at that time, I had a hint of his significance or I wouldn't have been so dismayed to hear the news.
Perhaps it was his "I Have a Dream'' speech that moved me. My family was one of those that never missed the nightly news and my mother constantly had the television tuned to the "Today Show'' in the mornings.
There have been notable sports events on April 4. What stands out to me was Jim Valvano's N.C. State team upsetting Phi Slamma Jamma Houston in 1983 and Wayne Kirby's 11th-inning heroics in the Indians' 4-3 victory over the Mariners in 1994 that christened Jacobs Field. But in my lifetime, the most memorable day in history came when the world lost Dr. King in Memphis.
Other things I want to get off my chest: