Today we will look at the assassination of Malcolm X. The New York Times coverage is listed below.
Malcolm X, the 39-year-old leader of a militant black nationalist movement, was shot to death yesterday afternoon at a rally of his followers in a ballroom in Washington Heights.
Shortly before midnight, a 22-year-old Negro, Thomas Hagan, was charged with the killing. The police rescued him from the ballroom crowd after he had been shot and beaten.
Malcolm, a bearded extremist, had said only a few words of greeting when a fusillade rang out. The bullets knocked him over backward.
Pandemonium broke out among the 400 Negroes in the Audubon Ballroom at 166th Street and Broadway. As men, women and children ducked under tables and flattened themselves on the floor, more shots were fired. Some witnesses said 30 shots had been fired.
3 Weapons Fired
The police said seven bullets had struck Malcolm. Three other Negroes were shot.
About two hours later the police said the shooting had apparently been a result of a feud between followers of Malcolm and members of the extremist group he broke with last year, the Black Muslims. However, the police declined to say whether Hagan is a Muslim.
The Medical Examiner’s office said early this morning that a preliminary autopsy showed Malcolm had died of “multiple gunshot wounds.” The office said that bullets of two different calibers as well as shotgun pellets had been removed from his body.
One police theory was that as many as five conspirators might have been involved, two creating a diversionary disturbance.
Hagan was shot in the left thigh and his left leg was broken, apparently by kicks. He was under treatment in the Bellevue Hospital prison ward last night; perhaps a dozen policemen were guarding him, according to the hospital’s night superintendent. The police said they had found a cartridge case with four unused .45-caliber shells in his pocket.
Two other Negroes, described as “apparent spectators” by Assistant Chief Inspector Harry Taylor, in command of Manhattan North uniformed police, also were shot. They were identified as William Harris, wounded seriously in the abdomen, and william Parker, shot in a foot. Both were taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, which is close to the ballroom.
Capt. Paul Glaser of the Police Department’s Community Relations Bureau said early today that Hagan, using a double-barrelled shotgun with shortened barrels and stock, had killed Malcolm X.
Malcolm, a slim, reddish-haired six-footer with a gift for bitter eloquence against what he considered white exploitation of Negroes, broke in March, 1964, with the Black Muslim movement called the Nation of Islam, headed by Elijah Muhammad.
A weapon described as a 12-gauge shotgun was found behind the ballroom stage wrapped in a man’s dark gray jacket.
As Hagan fired at Malcolm, Captain Glaser said, Reuben Francis, a follower of Malcolm, drew a .45-caliber automatic pistol and shot Hagan in the leg.
Francis, 33, of 371 East 179th Street, the Bronx, was charged with felonious assault and violation of the Sullivan Law.
Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that Hagan’s real name is Talmadge Hayer, the police said this morning. He was booked as Thomas Hagan.
The F.B.I. records showed that the suspect’s address was 347 Marshall Street, Paterson, N.J. He was arrested Nov. 7, 1963, the records showed, in Passaic for possession of stolen property.
Sanford Garelick, Assistant Chief Inspector in charge of the police Central Office Bureau and Squads, said at 5 P.M., not quite two hours after the shooting, that “this is the result, it would seem, of a long-standing feud between the followers of Elijah Muhammad and the people who broke away from him, headed by Malcolm X.”
At 7:30 P.M., Chief of Detectives Philip J. Walsh, who interrupted a vacation to join the hunt for the assassins, predicted “a long drawn-out investigation.”
Muslim Denies Involvement
James X, New York spokesman for the Black Muslims, denied that his organization had had anything to do with the killing.
Just one week before the slaying, Malcolm was bombed out of the small brick home in East Elmhurst, Queens, where he had been living. James X suggested that Malcolm had set off firebombs himself “to get publicity.”
Assemblyman Percy Sutton, Malcolm’s lawyer, said the murdered leader had planned to disclose at yesterday’s rally, “the names of those who were trying to kill him.”
Mr. Sutton added that Malcolm had taken to carrying a pistol “because he feared for his life” and had notified the police by telephone that he was doing so even though he did not have a permit. Assistant Chief Inspector Taylor, however, said Malcolm was unarmed when he was shot.
Chief Walsh said he believed “proper action was taken on all considerations of protection” for Malcolm, and “many of our requests in this connection were turned down.”
Captain Glaser said that since Jan. 27 Malcolm had been offered police protection on seven different occasions, but had refused the guards each time.”
One factor in Malcolm’s break with the Black Muslims was his comment on the assassination of President Kennedy. He called it a case of “chickens coming home to roost” and an outgrowth of violence that whites had used against Negroes. He was suspended by Elijah Muhammad and then started his own movement.
While the Nation of Islam searches for weapons anyone attending its meetings, Malcolm’s new movement emphasized self-defense even with weapons. And so there was no search of anyone at yesterday’s rally, a regular Sunday affair of Malcolm’s Organization of Afro-American Unity. White persons were barred.
The Audubon Ballroom is in a two-story building on the south side of West 166th Street between Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue, opposite a small park.
The meeting had been called for 2:30 P.M. in the second-floor hall, where 400 folding wooden chairs had been set up with two aisles going down the sides but no center aisle. At the back of the stage was a mural of a restful country scene.
`Would Give His Life’
Witnesses said one of the speakers who preceded Malcolm had asserted: “Malcolm is a man who would give his life for you.”
Gene Simpson, a WMCA newsman, said he was sitting in the front row when Malcolm was introduced. He said Malcolm gave the traditional Arabic greeting, “Salaam Aleikum,” “peace be unto you.”
“The crowd responded, `Aleikum Salaam,”’ Mr. Simpson said, “and then there was some disturbance about eight rows back. Everybody turned, and so did I, and then I heard Malcolm saying, `Be cool now, don’t get excited.’
“And then I heard this muffled sound, and I saw Malcolm hit with his hands still raised, and then he fell back over the chairs behind him. And everybody was shouting, and I saw one man firing a gun from under his coat behind me as I hit it [the floor] too.
“And he was firing like he was in some Western, running backward toward the door and firing at the same time.”
Sharon Six X Shabazz, 19, of 217 Bainbridge Street, who said she was a member of Malcolm’s organization, told this story:
“I think he only said `Brothers and Sisters’ when there was a commotion in the back of the room. I thought it was some rowdy drunks.”
Someone ran toward the stage, she said, there were loud noises, and she saw blood on Malcolm’s face.
“Then everybody started screaming and running and he fell down,” she said. “There was blood on his chest, too.”
Stanley Scott, a United Press International reporter, said he had been admitted with this admonition by a Malcolm lieutenant: “As a Negro, you will be allowed to enter as a citizen if you like, but you must remove your press badge.”
After Malcolm stepped to the rostrum and said a few words, Mr. Scott reported, “there was a scuffle at the back of the auditorium, possibly to distract attention from the assassins.”
“Shots rang out,” Mr. Scott went on. “Men, women and children ran for cover. They stretched out on the floor and ducked under tables.
“His wife, Betty, who was in the audience, ran about screaming hysterically, `They’re killing my husband!”’
A woman who was wearing a green scarf and a black felt hat with little floral buds, and who would identify herself only as a registered nurse, said she had seen “two men rushing toward the stage and firing from underneath their coats.” One, she said, wore a tweed coat.
Rushed to the Stage
“I rushed to the stage even while the firing was going on,” she said. “I don’t know how I got on the stage, but I threw myself down on who I thought was Malcolm but it wasn’t. I was willing to die for the man. I would have taken the bullets myself. Then I saw Malcolm, and the firing had stopped, and I tried to give him artificial respiration.
“I think he was dead then.”
Witnesses differed on the number of shots fired; some said as many as 30. Assistant Chief Inspector Taylor estimated the number at nearer eight. Six shots hit Malcolm in the chest and one hit him on the chin; some of the shots struck Malcolm after piercing the plywood rostrum in front of him.
Sgt. Alvin Aronoff and Patrolman Louis Angelos, who were in a radio car, heard the shooting. Sergeant Aronoff said he and his partner got to the ballroom just in time to see four or five persons run out, followed by a mob of perhaps 150, many of them pummeling Hagan.
“I’ve been shot, help me!” he quoted Hagan as shouting. The sergeant said he fired a warning shot into the air to halt the crowd, then pushed Hagan into the police car and drove him to the Wadsworth Avenue station house. From there the wounded man was quickly taken to Jewish Memorial Hospital and later to the Bellevue prison ward.
“In the car, I found four unused .45 cartridges in Hagan’s pocket,” Sergeant Aronoff said.
Malcolm was placed on a stretcher and wheeled one block up Broadway to the Vanderbilt Clinic emergency entrance at 167th Street. It was about 3:15 P.M., a Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center spokesman said later, when he reached a third-floor emergency operating room.
A team of doctors cut through his chest to massage his heart. But Malcolm was “either dead or in a death-appearing state,” the spokesman said. The effort was given up at 3:30 P.M.
“The person you know as Malcolm X is dead,” the spokesman reported.
Malcolm’s birth name was Malcolm Little. He considered it a “slave name” and abandoned it when he joined the Black Muslims. At the hospital he was first listed as “John Doe” because he had not been officially identified.
The other wounded men, in addition to Hagan, were believed to have been hit by random shots. Parker was described as being 36 years old and living at 23-05 Thirtieth Avenue, Astoria, Queens. Harris’s age was given as 51, and his address as 614 Oak Tree Place, Brooklyn.
The police declined to discuss any suspects.
Patrolman Thomas Hoy, 22, said he had been stationed outside the 166th Street entrance when “I heard the shooting, and the place exploded.” He rushed in, saw Malcolm lying on the stage and “grabbed a suspect” who, he said, some people were chasing.
“As I brought him to the front of the ballroom, the crowd began beating me and the suspect,” Patrolman Hoy said. He said he put this man, not otherwise identified later for newsmen, into a police car to be taken to the Wadsworth Avenue station.
At the station house later, one man said he had told investigators he believed the killers were “two short fellows, about 5 foot 6,” who had been in the audience and who had walked toward the stage with their hands in their pockets.
This witness said he believed the men fired five or six shots from pistols when they were only about eight feet from Malcolm.
An alarm was issued for a 1963 blue Oldsmobile with a New York license plate 1G 2220. The police said the car was registered in the name of a Muslim Mosque, 23-11 97th Street, East Elmhurst, Queens, which was the address of the home Malcolm had occupied until it was burned. The Nation of Islam had him evicted by a Civil Court last week.
According to the police, Malcolm, his wife Betty and their four children moved last week into the Theresa Hotel, 185th Street and Seventh Avenue, and then into the New York Hilton Hotel, Avenue of the Americas and 53d Street. They checked out at noon yesterday, the police said.
The couple was married in January, 1958, in Lansing, Mich. The children are Attilah, 6; Quiblah, 4, and Lamumbah, 5 months, all daughters, and Llyasha, a son, 2.
The widow held a brief press conference last night at George’s Supper Club, 103-04 Astoria Boulevard, East Elmhurst. She said her husband had received telephone calls at the Hilton Saturday night and yesterday morning saying he had “better wake up before it’s too late.”
Malcolm’s widow, who stayed at an undisclosed site in Elmhurst under police protection last night, was not questioned by the police on the killing.
Assemblyman Sutton, the family lawyer, said:
“Malcolm X died broke, without even an insurance policy. Every penny that he received from books, magazine articles and so on was assigned to the Black Muslims before he broke with them, and after that to the Muslim Mosque, Inc.” the sect Malcolm set up at the Theresa Hotel.
Extra policemen were on duty in Harlem and upper Manhattan yesterday and last night.
At 7:15 P.M. the police left the ballroom. Three cleaning women scrubbed blood off the stage, and overturned chairs were cleared away.
Musical instruments were placed on the stage and a dance sponsored by the Metro Associates, of 230 Tompkins Avenue, Brooklyn, went on as scheduled at 11 P.M.
Thanks for your attention.