- The Washington Times - Monday, April 3, 2006

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The flophouse bathtub James Earl Ray stood in to shoot Martin Luther King has been sold to an online casino for $7,600.

The auction on EBay began March 20 and ended Thursday with Golden Palace Casino placing the winning bid, said D’Army Bailey, a Memphis judge who owned the tub.

Golden Palace has bought numerous historical or noteworthy artifacts for a traveling display. It recently purchased four toilets once owned by Grateful Dead musician Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995.

Judge Bailey said he has been assured that the casino will treat the tub “with sensitivity for its historical significance.”

The tub first went on sale in 2004 and drew a bid of $152,000, but EBay removed it over concerns that the item might be considered offensive. But the Web site’s operators later decided the item met the company’s guidelines for historical artifacts.

Judge Bailey, a founder of the National Civil Rights Museum, which is located at the site of King’s death, says he bought the tub in 1983 when the former rooming house was being renovated. King was shot while in Memphis to help lead a strike by city sanitation workers in 1968.

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