Martin Luther King Day

MLK FACTS

  • Martin Luther King Jr. was an important leader and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • He was born Michael King Jr. on January 15th 1929 in Atlanta Georgia.
  • His father Michael King was a pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church.
  • Later Michael King and Michael King Jr. changed their names to Martin Luther after German Protestant leader Martin Luther.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. skipped 9th and 12th grade and entered college at the age of 15.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. first attended Morehouse College and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. He then went to Crozer Theological Seminary and received a degree in Divinity (religious studies), later he received a doctrine at Boston University.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. married Coretta Scott in 1953.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King had four children: Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter and Bernice.
  • He became a pastor at Dexter Ave Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • In 1955 he took leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott where Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat and moving to the back of the bus for a white man.
  • The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted a year and on November 13th 1956 the supreme court declared segregation on busses was unconstitutional.
  • In 1957 along with other civil rights activists Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to organize and conduct non-violent protests for civil rights.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. with other civil rights activists will go on to lead many non-violent protests for civil rights around the country.
  • In February 1959 Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to India to study Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence.
  • Gandhi’s principles of peaceful resistance had a lasting impression on Martin Luther King Jr., he used them in his fight against racial discrimination.
  • On June 23rd 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. lead a Freedom Walk in Detroit Michigan, 125,000 took part in the walk.
  • On August 28th 1963 at a historic march in Washington DC for jobs, freedom, racial equality and the end of discrimination Martin Luther King delivered his “I have a dream” speech.
  • On October 14th 1964 Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest man (age 35) to receive a Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through non-violence.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested many times during his protests for civil rights.
  • November 27 1967 Martin Luther King announces the Poor People Campaign focusing on jobs and freedom for the poor of all races.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. also protested against the Vietnam war.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee.
  • On November 2nd 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill to declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day in remembrance of all the great things he did to fight for civil rights.
  • He was the first African American to be granted a national holiday.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated the third Monday on January.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in January because his birthday is in January.
  • Martin Luther King Day was celebrated for the first time on January 20th 1986.
  • All 50 states did not recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day at a paid day off holiday until 2000.
  • Utah was the last state to declare Martin Luther King Jr. a holiday.
  • Over 1,000 streets are named after Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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