MEMPHIS -- Hillary Clinton made a special visit to a Memphis church to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Clinton, who took a red-eye flight from California to speak at the Mason Temple: Church of God in Christ, recalled the moment she found out about the death of Dr. King.
"Like many of you here who are of a certain age, I will never forget where I was when I heard Dr. King had been killed. I was junior in college and I remember hearing about it and just feeling such despair," Clinton said, pausing, her voice quivering.
"I walked into my dorm room and took my book bag and hurled it across the room. It felt like everything had been shattered, like we would never be able to put the pieces together again."
Clinton made a last-minute decision to attend the small conference of about 100 attendees, leaving some in the traveling press scratching their heads as to why Clinton flew 1,800 miles overnight to address the crowd. The original schedule had Clinton and the press staying the night in Los Angeles and heading for Portland, Oregon in the morning.
But, it's clear that Clinton felt compelled to share her thoughts on Dr. King. For months, she has had to do some damage control within the African American community, primarily due to some racially insensitive comments made by her husband around the time of the South Carolina primary where he said Barack Obama's Iraq views are "the biggest fairy tale" he'd ever seen. Hillary Clinton has also been under pressure from African Ameicans when she made a comment early in the campaign that some suggested discredited the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement.
This is not the first time Clinton has interrupted her campaign schedule to meet wiht African American leaders. In February, while Clinton was actively campaigning in Ohio and Texas she took time out of her busy schedule to fly from Ohio to Louisisana to address the "State of the Black Union." It was a state that had already voted for Obama.
Clinton admitted off camera that she essentially was there to repair her longstanding relationship with the black community. During the event in New Orleans Clinton apologized for her husband's comments saying, "Most of you here today who know him personally who know his heart, if anyone was offended by anything that was said whether it was meant or not, whether it was misinterpreted or not, then obviously I regret that."
Clinton is touring the National Civil Rights museum before resuming her campaign schedule with a trip to North Dakota.