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Martin Luther King Jr. Fast Facts

Here's a look at the life of Dr. Martin Luther K...

Posted: Apr 4, 2018 10:53 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2018 10:53 AM

Here's a look at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Personal: Birth date: January 15, 1929

Death date: April 4, 1968

Birth place: Atlanta, Georgia

Birth name: Michael Luther King Jr.

Father: Michael "Martin" Luther King Sr., Baptist minister

Mother: Alberta (Williams) King

Marriage: Coretta (Scott) King (June 18, 1953 - April 4, 1968, his death)

Children: Bernice, March 28, 1963; Dexter, January 30, 1961; Martin III, October 23, 1957; Yolanda, November 17, 1955 - May 15, 2007

Education: Morehouse College, B.A., 1948; Crozer Theological Seminary, B.D., 1951; Boston University, Ph.D., 1955

Other Facts: King was called Martin or M.L. from a young age.

Youngest person, at the time, to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Author of five books published from 1958 through 1968, works on American race relations and collections of his sermons and lectures.

According to the King Center, Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech is 17 minutes long.

Timeline: 1948 - Is ordained as a Baptist minister

1954 - Becomes minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

December 1, 1955 - Seamstress and civil rights activist Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, sparking the year-long Montgomery bus boycott. Within days, the Montgomery Improvement Association is founded to coordinate the boycott. King is elected president of the organization.

January 30, 1956 - King's house is bombed while he is at a meeting. His wife and daughter, home at the time, are uninjured.

1956 - After the U.S. Supreme Court rules that bus segregation laws are unconstitutional, the Montgomery boycott ends. King emerges as a national civil rights leader.

1957 - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is established in Atlanta, with King as president.

1960 - Moves from Montgomery to Atlanta and becomes co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father.

April 1963 - King is arrested for leading a march in Birmingham, Alabama. While in solitary confinement he writes an essay entitled "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

August 28, 1963 - During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The demonstration is attended by more than 250,000 people.

1963 - Is named Time magazine's Man of the Year.

July 2, 1964 - King stands behind President Lyndon B. Johnson as Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

1964 - Wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

1965 - Helps organize civil rights protests in Selma, Alabama.

August 6, 1965 - President Johnson signs the Voting Rights of 1965.

April 4, 1967 - King delivers a speech against the war in Vietnam in New York City.

December 1967 - The Poor People's Campaign is launched.

April 4, 1968 - King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, by James Earl Ray.

1976 - The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities releases a report stating that from 1963-1968 King was the subject of extensive FBI surveillance.

1977 - Is posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Jimmy Carter.

1980 - The Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site opens in Atlanta. It includes his birthplace, burial crypt, the Eternal Flame and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

1983 - President Ronald Reagan signs a law making King's birthday a federal holiday, to be observed annually on the third Monday in January.

1991 - The National Civil Rights Museum opens at the site of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where King was assassinated.

April 23, 1998 - King's assassin, James Earl Ray, dies in prison.

June 9, 2000 - The Justice Department announces the conclusion to an 18-month investigation. They find that there is no reliable evidence to support a conspiracy behind King's murder.

January 30, 2006 - Coretta Scott King dies at the age of 78.

June 23, 2006 - An Atlanta coalition pays $32 million for a collection of King's personal papers, to be stored at Morehouse College.

November 13, 2006 - The groundbreaking ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Monument in Washington, D.C. takes place. It will be the first monument on the National Mall dedicated to an African-American.

October 16, 2011 - The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is dedicated. The statue is located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial on the National Mall.

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