Martin Luther King Jr.

Interesting Personal Facts

Martin Luther King
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Early Years
On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His father was a baptist minister and his mom a schoolteacher. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up to be a very intelligent boy. In 1934, at the age of five, he was already in first grade. However, when his teacher learned of his age, he was expelled from school. This did not deter the smart King as he went on to finish high school and in 1944 began attending the Morehouse College in Atlanta.

In June of 1948, he graduated from college with a BA in Sociology. In September of the same year, King attended the Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. In May 1951, he graduated from Crozer with a Bachelor in Divinity. He went on to Boston University where he studied systematic theology as a graduate student.

Love and Marriage
On June 18,1953, Martin Luther King Jr. married Coretta Scott in Marlon, Alabama. In 1955, a lot of things happened to King's life that will shape history. In June, King received his PhD. Months later on November 17, Yoland Denise, his first child was born. King will eventually be blessed with three more children: Martin Luther King III (1957), Dexter (1961) and Bernice Albertine (1963). December 1, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama after she refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white passenger. A few days later on December 5, King became the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association and the bus boycott began.

Political Life and Career
Martin Luther King Jr. has many contributions to society that it will take a whole book to discuss it. Here are some of his most famous work:

1. Leadership:

  • December 21,1956 - The Montgomery buses were desegregated.
  • January 1957 - King Jr. became president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
  • February 1960 - He became assistant pastor to his father at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
  • March 17 to 25, 1965 - King Jr., along with other protesters, marched from Selma to Montgomery as they voiced their right to vote.
  • March 28,1968 - In Memphis, Tennessee, he lead striking sanitation workers on a march that tragically ended in violence.
  • April 3,1968 - He lead another march in a rally at Mason Temple.

2. Books and Awards

  • February 18,1957 - He was on the cover of Time magazine.
  • September 1958 - First book published: Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story
  • 1963 - Second book published: Strength to Love
  • June 1964 - Third book published: Why We Can’t Wait
  • December 10,1964 - Martin Luther King Jr. won the Noble Peace Prize.
  • June 1967 - Fourth book published: Where Do We Go From Here?

3. Famous Speeches:

  • May 17,1957 - "Give Us The Ballot," a speech he delivered during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom at Lincoln Memorial.
  • August 28,1963 - “I Have a Dream,” a speech he delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at Lincoln Memorial.
  • April 3,1968 - “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” a speech he delivered during a rally at Mason Temple.

4. Famous People He Met:

  • June 23,1958 - Martin Luther King Jr. met with President Eisenhower.
  • October 16,1961 - King Jr. met with President Kennedy.
  • January 18,1964 - He met President Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • March 26,1964 - King Jr. met Malcolm X.

Music and Martin Luther King Jr.
At his funeral, his friend Mahalia Jackson sang his favorite song "Take My hand, Precious Lord."

Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested several times and had many threats to his life. On April 4,1968, he was shot and killed while standing at the balcony of his motel.

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Your Citation
Estrella, Espie. "Martin Luther King Jr." ThoughtCo, Dec. 4, 2014, Estrella, Espie. (2014, December 4). Martin Luther King Jr. Retrieved from Estrella, Espie. "Martin Luther King Jr." ThoughtCo. (accessed September 25, 2017).