10 Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.!
Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist preacher by training, rose to prominence as a leader in the civil rights movement by advocating for the use of nonviolent tactics to win equal rights for African Americans.
His legacy is tied to his capacity to inspire policymakers at the state and federal levels to put an end to racial discrimination and to promote economic justice for low-income Americans in all facets of their lives, including housing, employment, and education.
On January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, he was born to Michael Luther King, Sr. and Alberta King. His parents named him Martin Luther King Jr.
During the month of August, visitors to the “A Changing America” exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture can see an original copy of King's final address. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King carried a three-page speech on loan from Villanova University that omitted the line “I Have a Dream” entirely. In celebration of this short-term rental, here are interesting facts about King's life and career.
Ten Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.
10. King Enrolled in College at Age 15
At the age of 15, King enrolled in college after skipping two grades. In 1944, he was accepted to Morehouse College, and by 1948, at the tender age of 19, he had earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, president of Morehouse College, left an impression on Martin Luther King Jr.
King proceeded with his schooling at Chester, Pennsylvania's Crozer Theological Seminary. He graduated as valedictorian of his 1951 class despite having earned a C in a public speaking course. As a young man of 25, he enrolled in the doctoral program at Boston University and eventually earned his degree.
9. An Advocate for Civil Rights
Mathew Ahmann and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among the March on Washington protesters. He was an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. For justice in a time when African-Americans were discriminated against, he campaigned nonviolently.
8. He Contributed to the Elimination of Bus Segregation
When Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, he was thrust into the centre of the Civil Rights Movement. There was a period when Black folks couldn't ride to the front of the bus.
Those who value equality were outraged by this. There was a city bus boycott that Martin Luther King Jr. helped organise. No one who supported civil rights rode the buses because they were boycotted. A court determined that such segregation regulations should no longer be recognised, and protesters celebrated their victory after 381 days.
7. He is well known for His “I Have a Dream” Speech
The demonstration that Martin Luther King spoke at in 1963 was attended by nearly 200,000 people. One of the most well-known speeches ever, “I Have a Dream” envisions a world in which black and white citizens enjoy full equality.
An excerpt from the well-known talk follows:
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia , the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”
6. He Was Also a Reverend
After being moved to action by pastors who were willing to speak out for racial equality, Martin Luther King, Jr. joined the Baptist Church and decided to become a preacher. King served as pastor of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church from 1954 to 1960.
5. The King Family Sued the Government After His Death
Twelve jurors found King's death a conspiracy on December 8, 1999. The four-week Memphis trial had almost 70 witnesses. The jury decided in an hour after being convinced by the evidence. Overwhelming evidence revealed James Earl Ray was framed for the shooting. Local, state, and federal U.S. government authorities and the Mafia were to blame after Ray did not shoot.
King family donated $100. They wanted truth and justice, not money. Mrs. Coretta Scott King founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in 1968.
4. He Was Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful efforts to end racial segregation on October 14, 1964. The Nobel Peace Prize is a prestigious honour given annually to an individual or organisation working to create a more just and peaceful global community.
3. Martin Luther King Jr. Was Arrested 29 Times
People who disagreed with the things he was fighting for would find any excuse to have him arrested, even though he only participated in nonviolent protests. As an example, he spent time in a Montgomery, Alabama, jail for engaging in civil disobedience.
2. Assisted in Founding and Guiding SCLC
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was founded in Atlanta in 1957 by Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and a large group of other civil rights leaders, activists, and pastors. African Americans all around the United States banded together to join this group and engage in civil disobedience tactics like sit-ins and marches to fight segregation and advance their cause of civil rights. King was chosen as the SCLC's president.
1. King Survived a Decade-old Assassination Attempt
King was signing books at Blumstein's in Harlem on September 20, 1958, when a young woman sneaked up on him. After he said “yes,” Izola Ware Curry stabbed him with a seven-inch letter opener. Curry alleges she pursued him for five years assuming he was a Communist.
King had hours-long emergency surgery after the stab wound missed his heart. King later declared his nonviolence and said he had no ill will against his attacker.