Already a city filled with racial tension, Boston was residents expected the worst when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. James Brown was scheduled to play the Boston Garden the following night, and city officials worried that the thousands of black fans would lead to violence. They ultimately decided to go on with the concert and broadcast it on public television, with the Godfather of Soul delivering an amazing set and keeping the peace while thousands watched from home. Even when fans rushed the stage and tensions were at their highest, Brown stayed cool, keeping the police at bay and reminding the audience that they were supposed to be together, not against each other. Thankfully, we'll never know just how bad it would have been that night if the concert was canceled.
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