March 10, 1969
JAMES EARL RAY PLEADS GUILTY
James Earl Ray, alleged killer of civil rights leader,Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has pled guilty of the murder today on his 41st birthday.*
Ray, born on March 10, 1928 in Alton, Illinois, was facing a death sentence but the guilty plea will change that to a 99 year prison sentence.
Born in poverty, Ray joined the US army & served in Germany. After service, he committed burglary in California & was sent to jail in 1949.
Evidence which tied Ray to the murder of King included finding his fingerprints on a 30-06 hunting rifle found at the scene.
Ray made good his escape but was arrested in London in June 1968.
*3 days later Ray tried to change his plea to not guilty claiming he had been “set up”. While serving his sentence at Tennessee’s Brushy Mountain State Prison he escaped twice but was recaptured both times.
Ray died on April 23, 1998 in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 70.
James Earl Ray Mug Shot (1955)
March 10, 1970
CAPTAIN MEDINA & 4 OTHERS CHARGED WITH COMMITTING WAR CRIMES AT MY LAI
Ernest Medina, US Army captain, & 4 other soldiers were charged today with the commission of war crimes at the infamous My Lai massacre in Vietnam of March 1968.
*All involved, except Lt. William Calley who served under Captain Medina, had their charges dismissed or were acquitted. Lt. Calley was found guilty of 22 counts of murder.
Captain Ernest Medina, US Army
March 10, 1913
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD “CONDUCTOR”, HARRIET TUBMAN, DIES
Known as “Moses” to the many slaves she helped to escape to freedom, Harriet Tubman died today in Auburn, New York of pneumonia.
Tubman was born into slavery in 1822 in Dorchester County, Maryland.
When she 1st reached freedom herself, Miss Tubman recalled:
“When I found I had crossed that line (into Pennsylvania), I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything, the sun came like gold through the trees….& I felt like I was in heaven.”
As the most famous “conductor” on the “underground railroad”, she took pride on having “never lost a passenger”.
During the Civil War, she was a Union spy & later worked in the suffrage movement.
Tubman had sustained a head injury as a youth which caused her to have visions which she saw as signs from God. Her passionate faith saw her through 13 expeditions back into slave territory to help others escape.
Surrounded by friends & family, Harriet Tubman passed away quietly. She will be buried in the Fort Hill Cemetery.
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)
March 10, 1864
LINCOLN MAKES GRANT HEAD OF ALL US ARMIES
Ulysses S. Grant was made Lieutenant General of the United States Armies today when President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation at the White House.
Grant, sometimes criticized for having a problem with the ‘bottle’, was admired by Lincoln for his ability to win battles.
Once while listening to criticisms of Grant’s drinking, the President said:
“Find out his brand, give it to my other generals & maybe they will win (battles).”*
*Grant led the Union army to victory over the Confederacy & accepted Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia in April 1865.
In 1868, U.S. Grant was elected 18th President of the United States.
Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant