Martin Luther King Jr. is also known as M.L.K. For short, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is widely regarded as one the most influential American leaders of all time. His influence on the U.S.A., and the wider world, is still felt many years after his assassination. Explore fun facts about Martin Luther King Jr.!!
King was an orator, civil rights advocate, and leader. But his most notable achievement was the transformation of civil rights in America through nonviolent activism. Continue reading for more information about Dr. King.
We all know the remarkable life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader and civil rights activist. However, we often forget about the finer details. Culture Trip has compiled 10 interesting facts about Martin Luther Jr. to further illustrate his remarkable stature in world-historical history.
Interesting Facts about Martin Luther King Jr
- King was born Michael.
Michael King Jr was born on January 15, 1929, to parents Alberta Williams King and Michael King Sr. His father, Ebenezer Baptist Church minister in Atlanta, was inspired by Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation leader. King Sr. began to call himself Martin Luther King and then his son.
2. He was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at that time.
Martin Luther King Jr was only 35 years old when he received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racism through nonviolence. His prize included a $54,123 check. He donated several organizations to – Congress on Racial Equality, the NAACP and National Council of Negro Women (CORE), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCLC, and others – to help the civil rights movement.
3. King traveled more than 6 million miles from 1957 to 1968 and spoke more than 2,500 times between 1957 and 1968
King was elected president of the SCLC in 1957. He led the group from its inception to his death in 1968. The SCLC was founded on Christian values and sought to promote civil rights movements in peaceful ways. King was inspired by Gandhi’s teachings and worked on Christian principles without resorting to violence. King traveled the country, stopping in cities to give speeches or protests. King published numerous articles and wrote five books during these 11 years.
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4. This civil rights leader was acquitted of 29 charges and assaulted four times.
While King was loved by many, police officers, saw him as a threat to American security. King was arrested nearly 30 times for acts of civil disobedience. This included the time in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 when he drove five miles an hour faster than the speed limit. The F.B.I. was also concerned; evidence on paper shThe FBI was impeding kingy the F.B.I. The F.B.I. intensified its investigation of King and the SCLC after King’s 1963 speech “I Have a Dream.”
5. King is the only non-president to have a national holiday named after him.
Ronald Reagan signed a bill in 1983 that established a national holiday to remember King. This is his first honor as a non-resident. George Washington is the other American to be honored with a holiday in his name. This holiday was first observed on the third Monday of January 1986, just before M.L.K.’s birthday on January 15.
6. King was presented with 20 honorary degrees, and Time magazine named him ‘Man Of The Year.’
King was awarded 20 honorary degrees by colleges and universities around the U.S. and the world during his lifetime. King was the first African American to receive Time magazine’s Man of the Year award in 1963. The article featured a photo on the cover and a seven-page article with photos of some of the most memorable moments in his life, including his meeting with President Lyndon B Johnson and his arrest in Alabama in 1963.
7. A gunman also killed his mother.
Alberta Williams King, a maniacal gunman, shot her on June 30, 1974. He claimed Christians were his enemies and received “divine orders” to kill King’s father. Instead, he chose to shoot Alberta, who was playing the organ at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Sundays. The Man was convicted and sentenced to death. However, King’s family didn’t believe in capital punishment.
Martin Luther Jr. Fun Facts
- Martin Luther King Jr. was conceived in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929.
- King’s father, a Baptist minister, and his mother, a school teacher, were Baptist ministers.
- His contribution to the advancement of civil rights in the U.S.A. through nonviolent protest methods makes him most well-known internationally.
- King was highly educated, bachelor’s degrees, doctorate in sociology and divinity, and systematic theology.
- Howard Thurman, a civil rights leader and theologian, mentored M.L.K. while studying at Boston University for his Ph.D.
- In 1953, he met Coretta Scott, and they married. Coretta was a music student who aspired to be a singer. They had four children together: Yolanda Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice.
- Martin Luther King Jr. organized a boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, of buses after Rosa Parks was detained for refusing to surrender her seat to a white male. The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days and eventually ended with eliminating racial segregation in Alabama’s public buses.
- King delivered his famous speech “Give Us the Ballot” during the Prayer Pilgrimage to Freedom in Washington, May 1957.
- King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is the most well-known. It was performed in front of more than a quarter-million people in Washington D.C. in 1963.
- King was a great man, but he was certainly not a saint. King was accused of having extramarital affairs and manic behavior. He also admitted that he had some weaknesses in this area of his life. During the 1980s, a probe revealed that King’s Ph.D. dissertation was plagiarized.
- King received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964 for his efforts to oppose racial discrimination through nonviolent protest.
- King was part of an organization that organized a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery on March 7, 1965, to protest the killing of a protester killed by an Alabama trooper in the preceding month. The march was stopped by police officers and state troopers who beat the participants. This event became known as “Bloody Sunday” and was broadcast on all major news networks. It encouraged sympathy for civil rights movements.
- His last great speech, the “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top Address,” is well-known. It was delivered the day before his death, on April 3, 1968.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. James Earl Ray shot him.
- Some claim King’s death was part of a more giant conspiracy, and Ray was simply a scapegoat.
- King loved the song “Take My hand Precious Lord.” Mahalia Jackson, King’s friend, sang the song at his funeral.
- King switched his attention from civil rights towards the end of his life to campaigns to end poverty and stop the Vietnam War. King’s war stance alienated many of his liberal friends.
- The Lorraine Motel is where he was murdered and now houses the National Civil Rights Museum.
- King died in 1976. He was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.
- Ronald Reagan signed into law a federal holiday in the United States that was dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. in 1983. Three years later, in 1986, the holiday was established. Although some states initially resisted the idea of a new holiday, the 50 states have been celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day since 2000.
End of the story
He inspired hundreds of thousands of people to act by his bold actions and his God-given preaching skills to lead and inspire.
We hope you enjoyed these fascinating facts about Martin Luther Jr. Stay tuned for more fun facts!!