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MLK addresses a crowd at the March on Washington in 1963, where he gave the "I Have a Dream" speech. Photo: CNP / Getty Images

Fifty years ago Wednesday — on April 4, 1968 — a single bullet in Memphis, Tenn., changed the world: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Why it matters: Many of you weren't born then, and you'll hear a lot about this anniversary in the next few days. So I wanted to remind you what a transfixing, transformative event this was not just in the South, but for the whole country.

Flip through the nation's Sunday newspapers, and you'll see what a big deal this moment was everywhere:

  • Seattle Times, "MLK's assassination seared into Seattle memories: When the leading voice of peaceful resistance was slain, a 13-year-old girl thought, 'This was wanting to silence African Americans around the nation.'"
  • Boston Globe, "The young man & the Dream: Before he was a civil rights leader, history­-maker, and martyr, Martin Luther King Jr. was a student in Boston, a young man mapping his course, leaving a lasting impression of greatness soon to be."
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "The week the hill rose up: MLK’s assassination ignited anger in Pittsburgh that had simmered for years."
  • Chicago Tribune, "Chicago riots, 50 years later ... Rage, riots and ruin: Parts of Chicago’s West Side were destroyed after MLK’s death in 1968. Some haven’t recovered."
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Atlanta's 4-mile goodbye to King" ... Photographer discovers never-published photos from funeral procession.

Worthy of your time ... "The witness ... Clara Ester, the Lorraine Motel and the legacy of Martin Luther King," by USA Today's Rick Hampson in Memphis:

  • "Some of the witnesses [to the assassination] at the Lorraine — Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson — are, or soon will be, famous. Most are not. They’re like Clara Jean Ester, a college student caught up in a local sanitation workers' strike."
  • Keep reading.
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Go deeper

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between Brooks' reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

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Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

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Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.