Board approves naming Memphis street for MLK

By ADRIAN SAINZ | January 12, 2012 | 12:50 PM EST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis officials have approved naming a street after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., nearly 44 years after the civil rights leader was killed in the city.

The Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board voted Thursday to re-name a nine block downtown area as Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue.

It runs parallel to famous Beale Street, and near the Clayborn Temple, where King rallied with striking sanitation workers days before he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968.

The street re-naming is being seen by many Memphians as a symbol that the city is taking steps to heal the wound caused by the assassination.