50 Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.

Facts About Martin Luther King Jr: Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent African-American leader who fought for social rights in the United States. One of the American clergy. Activist, and leader of the African American human rights movement. He was the one who used the best non-violent crusade in the Gandhian way. Martin Luther King is considered a national symbol of American progressive history. Baptismal King, who was a pastor, was identified as a social rights activist in his youth.

In 1955 he led the Montgomery bus boycott. He also helped organize the 1955 Southeast Asian Leaders Conference. He also became the first president of the conference. The organization's King's struggle against apartheid in 1957 in Albany, Georgia, failed. His nonviolent campaign in Alabama in 1962 attracted national attention and national acclaim. King organized a huge rally in 1963 called the 'Rally for Washington for Work and Freedom'. Large crowds gathered. It was here that he delivered his famous sermon, 'A Dream for Me'.

This marked a major turning point in American history. The FBI then began monitoring him and sending information to the government. He also issued an anonymous letter threatening to commit suicide. Next year i.e. October 14, In 1964, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle against apartheid. He was shot dead on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

50 Facts About Martin Luther King Jr

50 Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King Jr

  • Martin Luther King Jr. was a life-long smoker.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • King’s father was a Baptist minister and his mother was a school teacher.
  • King’s mother, Alberta Williams King was also shot and killed at the age of 69.
  • King’s favourite hymn was “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”. It was sung at his funeral.
  • The Lorraine Motel, where he was killed, is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.
  • On January 17, 2000, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially observed in all fifty U.S. states.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7, 1968 a national day of mourning for the civil rights leader.
  • Some people have alleged that King’s murder was part of a larger conspiracy and that Ray was just a scapegoat.
  • On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He was shot by James Earl Ray.
  • King was jailed 29 times, charged with everything from civil disobedience to driving five miles over the speed limit.
  • King was a highly educated man with bachelor's degrees in sociology and divinity, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology.
  • In May, 1957, King gave his famous "Give Us the Ballot" speech during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington.
  • After his death, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.
  • King’s favorite song was "Take My hand, Precious Lord." The song was sung at his funeral by his friend, Mahalia Jackson.
  • King was 24 and his wife was 26 when they got married. They had four children together. Three are still alive as of April 2018.
  • King survived an assassination attempt in 1958 after being stabbed in the chest by a deranged woman. He spent several weeks in surgery.
  • He is best known in the USA and internationally for his part in advancing the civil rights movement by using nonviolent methods of protest.
  • In 1957, King and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He led the SCLC until his death.
  • His last great speech is known as the "I've Been to the Mountain Top" address, and it was delivered the day before he died on April 3, 1968.
  • In 1963, the FBI, under written directive from Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, tapped King’s telephone line suspecting he was a Communist.
  • At the age of 12, King blamed himself for his grandmother’s death and attempted suicide by jumping out of a second-story window but he survived.
  • King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his role in opposing racial segregation and discrimination through nonviolent protest and other means.
  • While studying for his Ph.D. at Boston University, MLK was mentored by theologian and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman, who was a big influence on him.
  • In 1977, President Jimmy Carter awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian award of the United States of America) to Martin Luther King.
  • He met and married Coretta Scott, a music student and aspiring singer, in 1953. The couple had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael Lewis King. His father changed his own name to Martin Luther, after the German preacher and reformist, and he renamed his son the same.
  • King’s most famous speech is his "I Have a Dream" speech. He performed it in 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to a crowd of over a quarter of a million people.
  • King’s autopsy revealed that stress had taken a major toll on his body. Despite being just 39 at the time of his death, one of the doctors noted that he had “the heart of a 60-year-old”.
  • In the 1963 March on Washington, King delivered a 17-minute speech, later known as “I Have a Dream”. It came to be regarded as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory.
  • Towards the end of his life, King had switched his focus from civil rights to campaigns to end poverty and stop the Vietnam War. Many of his liberal allies felt alienated by his stance on the war.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • King made a request that at his funeral no mention of his awards and honors be made, but that it be said that he tried to “feed the hungry“, “clothe the naked“, “be right on the [Vietnam] war question“, and “love and serve humanity.“
  • On April 4, 1968, King was fatally shot by James Earl Ray at 6:01 p.m. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. He died at the hospital an hour later at 7:05 p.m.
  • As a Christian minister, King’s main influence was Jesus Christ and the Christian gospels. His faith was strongly based in Jesus’ commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself, loving God above all, and loving your enemies, praying for them and blessing them.
  • On October 14, 1964, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, until Malala Yousafzai in 2014, which was awarded to him for leading nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in the U.S. He donated all $54,123 of the prize money to the civil rights movement.
  • In 1955 Martin Luther King Jr. led a boycott of buses in Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. The Montgomery Bus Boycott went on for 381 days, but eventually led to the abolishment of racial segregation on public buses in Alabama.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. organized and led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into the law of the United States with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • King became romantically involved with the white daughter of an immigrant German woman. He planned to marry her, but friends advised against it, saying that an interracial marriage would provoke animosity from both blacks and whites. King broke off the relationship after six months. He never recovered.
  • In 1983 a new U.S. federal holiday dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. was signed into law by Ronald Reagan. The holiday was first observed three years later in 1986. At first, some states were reluctant to adopt the new holiday, but since the year 2000, all 50 states have celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • Although King was a great man, he certainly was not a saint. Numerous accusations of extramarital affairs and womanizing were made against him, and he admitted in private that he had weaknesses in that area of his life. Also, during the 1980s, an investigation discovered that parts of King’s Ph.D. dissertation had been plagiarized.
  • On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his death—King delivered a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” He spoke strongly against the U.S.’s role in the war, arguing that the U.S. was in Vietnam “to occupy it as an American colony” and calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”
  • King was a precocious child. He skipped both the ninth and the twelfth grade, entering college when he was only fifteen. At 19, he received a degree in sociology and earned a PhD in theology seven years later at 26. He eventually garnered another fifty or so honorary degrees from various colleges and universities around the country before his death at the age of 39.
  • King suffered from depression throughout much of his life. As a child, he befriended a white boy whose father owned a business near his family’s home. When the boys were six, they started school: King had to attend a school for African Americans and the other boy went to one for whites. King lost his friend because the child’s father no longer wanted the boys to play together.
  • On March 7, 1965, King was involved with organizing a march from Selma to Montgomery to protest the murder of a protester who was killed by an Alabama state trooper during the previous month. The march was blocked by state troopers and police officers who brutally beat the participants. The event, which came to be known as “Bloody Sunday,” was broadcast on news stations across the USA, and it fostered sympathy for the civil rights movement.

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