Welcome to Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate his birth anniversary that falls on January 15, 1929. This post is written to celebrate, honor and to get a lot of inspiration from the activities of this great man. His main messages to the world are freedom, equality, justice and love.
Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King Jr will certainly inspire anyone who believes in social justice and compassion for human-beings. He became one of the most influential person in the history due to leading the American Civil Rights Movement. His untiring effort to bring about progress against racial inequality in the United States was an herculean task. He was successful in this effort.
It is a well-known fact that he drew inspiration from Matama Gandhi and his Christian faith.
Martin Luther King Jr was an American Baptist Minister and activist who became the most visible spokesman and leader in the American civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Was born as Michael. His father and mother were inspired by the work of Protestant reformer Martin Luther King and changed his name from Michael to Martin.
- Martin Luther King Jr’s father worked as a Baptist pastor in their community and his mother was a former teacher.
- He grew up in a Sweet Auburn neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Was a gifted student. He skipped Grades 9 to 12 and entered into college at the tender age of 15.
- He enrolled at Morehouse College in 1944.
- One of his first job was working for a News paper. Due to his work ethics, he could be promoted and became the youngest Assistant Manager for The Atlanta Journal delivery station at age 13.
- He finished college at the alma mater of his father and his maternal grand father.
- After passing the college, he studied at Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary for a divinity degree.
- Then, Martin Luther King Jr. Attended Boston University in 1995 for his graduation and Ph.D. degrees.
- He wrote his dissertation on Humanity and God.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Got married to Coretta Scot King on June 18, 1953.
- It is said that Luther King at the initial stage had to struggle with public speaking. But this did not allow him to prevent from what he was born to do.
- Besides being a minister, he was also a social activist.
- He was very much passionate about for fighting for human rights and for racial justice from a young age.
- He played a key role in many civil rights movements. He sought equality among the black community and all those suffering from injustice through peaceful protests.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Was influenced a lot by American essayist Henry David Thoreau. The essay , “Civil Disobedience” by Thoreau perhaps created lot of impact in his mind. Thoreau’s belief that an individual should not cooperate with an evil system. This greatly influenced the worldview of Dr. King. Also Dr. King had his own ability and strength to bring about a social change at the individual level.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was the driving force for the legislation to push the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act and this has helped him to receive Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
- He was the youngest person at the time to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. He was 35 years old.
- The prize money of $54,123 received by him was donated to various organizations like, Congress on Racial Equality (CORE ), the NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee ( SNCC ), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference ( SCLC ) and others. The donation was an aid in the progress of the civil rights movement.
- During August 1963, a massive protest march called the March on Washington held at Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The protest march was fighting for equality in freedom and jobs. This march aimed to draw attention and emphasis to the continuing inequalities and challenges that the black community faces.
- On this day or on this occasion, Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered his iconic speech, I Have A Dream. This speech called for equal economic and civil rights in the US. This speech is considered to be one of his most cited works or an iconic speech.
- Even before this iconic speech, Martin Luther King Jr. had already delivered many great speeches.
- Luther King, traveled over 6 million miles and spoke over 2,500 times from 1957 to 1968. During this period of 11 years or so, he wrote 6 books and published many articles.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Was arrested and assaulted 4 times due to his civil rights activities or on act of civil disobedience and on trumped – up charges.
- Stevie Wonder wrote a song and recorded his song “Happy Birthday” in honor of MLK. He also joined MLK’s wife on a four month tour to advocate for the holiday in the name of Martin Luther King Jr. After the tour they delivered a petition to the Speaker of the house with 6 million names on it.
- Luther King is the only non – president to have a national holiday in his name or on his birth day on January 15. In the year 1983,President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that established a nationally observed holiday to remember him and his contributions.
- Martin Luther King Jr. received 20 honorary degrees from colleges and universities across United States and also around the world.
- He became the first African American to be named as ‘Man of the Year’ in Time magazine. The tribute was given to him that included a photograph on the cover page including seven- page article along with several photographs representing the most memorable of his career. The prominent photos are meeting with President Lyndon B Johnson and his arrest in Alabama I 1963
- As per Derek Alderman, head of geography department at the University of Tennessee, there are around 900 streets named after Martin Luther King in US after his assassination on 4th April 1968. Countries like Israel and Italy have also given his name to some of their streets.
- Martin Luther King Jr. wrote six books….
- The Auto Biography Of Martin Luther King Jr
- Strength to Love
- Why We Can’t Wait
- The Measure Of A Man
- The Trumpet Of Conscience
- Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community. All these books and document tells the rise of civil rights movements in the US.
31. Martin Luther King Jr. Was nearly assassinated 10 years before his death. This happened in Harlem while signing copies of his new book, ”Stride Toward Freedom”, at a local Departmental Stores Bumstein’s on September, 20,1958. A woman named Izola Wane Curry approached him and asked whether, he was Martin Luther King. When he replied Yes, she said, “ I have been looking for you for five years,” and stuck a letter opener into his chest. The blade came very close to penetrating his heart. After several hour of surgery his life could be saved. Later on King issued a statement that he felt no anger or ill will towards the woman.
32. His mother Alberta Williams King was murdered by a gunman on June 30, 1974. The killer was convicted and received death penalty. This death sentence penalty was later changed to life imprisonment. This happened partly because King’s family did not believe in capital punishment.
33. Martin Luther King Jr. Was tragically assassinated on 4th April 1968 in Tennessee. Just the previous day, he had given a speech there. He was standing on the balcony of his hotel room, when he was shot. James Earl Ray was the murderer. He was convicted and given life imprisonment despite he claiming to be innocent. This murderer died in 1998.
Martin Luther King Jr. Had a dream to see that one day everyone will be treated as equals. He is remembered for his tireless work during Civil Rights Movement.
From the childhood itself, he faced racial discrimination. He wanted this to go. Through non- violence means he wanted to bring equal rights to all.
MLK Jr. really wanted to make people understand that all races should always be treated equally. He gave speeches to unite, educate and encourage African Americans to protest without using violence to achieve equality. He was the pathfinder and supplied confidence not only to America but to the entire world. Hats off to this great soul.
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