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The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebration of Martin Luther King Day or MLK Day!


The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American preacher humanitarian and activist who is best known for his role in the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.


Dr. King who was inspired by his faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi is considered one of history's greatest champions of non-violence. He used the power of his words as well as peaceful demonstrations such as protests, sit-ins and boycotts in an effort to achieve equality for all people.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a true American Hero.

let's learn more about his life and how he inspired a nation and the world to become more tolerant and accepting of all citizens regardless of race, class or gender. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Tuesday January 15 1929  in Atlanta Georgia.

His name at verse was Michael King his father also named Michael changed both their names to Martin Luther in honor of the world-renowned German reformer of the same name Martin Jr. was a middle child he had an older sister named Willie Christine King and a younger brother named Alfred Daniel Williams.


King Martin Jr. attended Booker T Washington High School and was so smart he skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades he enrolled in Morehouse College at age  15 without formally graduating from high school. During his final semester at Morehouse College Martin was ordained as a minister he also took his first steps towards being an activist by writing a letter to the editor of the Atlanta Constitution. In the letter he declared that African Americans were entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens.


After graduating for Morehouse Martin attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania from 1948 until 1951. Martin then began his doctoral studies at Boston University during this time he began to draw from his education his faith and his natural verbal ability to form the foundation for what would become his critical role in the civil rights movement.


While in Boston Martin met and dated Coretta Scott who was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music On June 18th 1953.  They were married in Alabama where Carretas family lived Martin and Coretta became the parents of four children Yolanda King, Martin Luther King, the third Dexter Scott King and Bernice King.


On December 1st 1955  Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white person on a crowded bus in Montgomery Alabama. A city known for its segregated public spaces that night Martin met with other activists to plan a citywide protest that would become known as the Montgomery bus boycott the boycott lasted over 380 days. During this time Martin was arrested and harassed by people who did not want the changes. He was fighting to bring about the boycott however was a success. The US Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation and transportation was unconstitutional.


Martin's role in the boycott transformed him into a national figure and the best known spokesman of the civil rights movement in the wake of the boycott victory civil rights leaders recognized the need for national organizations to better coordinate their efforts.

In 1957 January Martin and roughly 60 other minister sand activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the SCLC with Martin as president the SCLC helps conduct nonviolent protests and demonstrations across the south to promote civil rights reforms.


A primary focus for the organization was registering African-Americans to vote the SCLC sponsored mass meetings and key southern cities. For that purpose in 1963 Martin led a coalition of several civil rights groups and a non-violent campaign aimed at Birmingham Alabama which was at that time described as the most segregated city in America.

The nation was shocked to see images of young African Americans attacked by police-dogs and high-pressure fire hoses displayed on television newspapers and magazines. It was during this campaign that Martin wrote his now-famous letter from a Birmingham jail after being arrested again for his participation in the demonstrations.


Later in 1963 Martin was one of the driving forces behind the March for Jobs and Freedom more commonly known as the march on Washington 28 1963 over 250,000 people of all ethnicities gathered at the National Mall in Washington DC, to demand justice and equality for all people.


It was here that Martin made his famous “ I have a dream“ speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This speech inspired the nation and is now considered one of the greatest in American history. Martin was later named Time Magazine's Man of the year.

This further cemented his status as the nation's foremost social change leader in 1964 at 35 years old Martin became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.


When he found out that he had been selected he promised to donate the prize money over fifty four thousand dollars to help continue the important work of the civil rights movement he delivered another powerful speech when he accepted his award that was both moving and motivational also in 1964 partly due to the march on Washington and Martin speech Congress passed the landmark Civil Rights Act.


This legislation made it illegal to discriminate against people because of their race. The Jim Crow rules of the South that promoted segregation and the harsh mistreatment of African Americans were now against federal law this was one of the greatest accomplishments for the civil rights movement in March of 1965. Martin led a march from Selma to the Capitol building in Montgomery Alabama to urge President Lyndon B Johnson and his administration to pass a law protecting the rights of African-American voters.


At the conclusion of the march Martin gave another powerful speech that helped rally more supporters that same year Congress went on to pass the Voting Rights Act that eliminated the remaining barriers to voting for African Americans prior to this legislation there were still areas in which African Americans were completely disenfranchised meaning they did not have the right to vote over the next three years.


Martin spoke is shifted from racial discrimination to economic injustice and internationalization led campaigns in Chicago Illinois and spoke strongly against the Vietnam War Martin's opposition to the war cost him support among white allies including the president union leaders and publishers.

Martin and the SCLC also organized the Poor People's Campaign in 1968. In an effort to assemble a multiracial coalition of poor Americans who would advocate for economic change.


On April 4th 1968  Martin was shot while standing on the balcony outside of his hotel room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennesseeat.  Martin was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital he was 39 years old. Martin was buried in his hometown of Atlanta Georgia.

Dr. Martin Luther King jr. changed the course of American history he worked tirelessly to ensure that all people regardless of race religion or national origin had equal opportunities and could live their lives without fear of violence and discrimination.


Celebration of Martin Luther King Day or MLK Day!

Martin is regarded as America's greatest human rights advocate.

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday honoring Martin the holiday observed on the third Monday of January each year is called Martin Luther King Jr. Day or  MLK Day in the year 2000 it was officially observed by all 50 states for the first time.

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