At 6:01 p.m., one pull of the trigger killed a dreamer.
"As a little girl, it didn`t make sense to me. When he died, he died in my dad`s arms," said King's goddaughter, Downzaleigh Abernathy. "I felt like God had taken the giver of love and life away from us. He was trying to teach America how to love."
Almost half a century later, King's legacy lives on.
"You don't have to use him for inspiration only for civil rights," said CSU Northridge Historian Keith Rice. "You can use him for anything. Any struggle that you're going through, he's someone you can look up to."
The motel where King died is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum, honoring his life and those who fought beside him, like Rosa Parks.
Visitors can also see exhibits on the bus bombings, the sit-ins and arguably the most famous march in the nation's history -- the March on Washington.
The museum's final stop is a solemn look at the balcony where King was gunned down but his dream can never die.
"'When he finished that speech and said, 'I may not get there with you,' it was like he was telling you something was gonna happen. It was just like really eerie,'" Rice said.