Life of Martin Luther King Jr

  • Birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.
    An undated picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthplace, 501 Auburn Avenue N.E., Atlanta, Ga. Dr. King was born here, January 15, 1929. (AP Photo) Photo: Beaumont Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929, never backed down in his stand against racism. He is named after his father, Michael, but both of them change their names to Martin a few years later.
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    life of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • King graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

    King graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
    King earns a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
  • King enrolls in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.

    King enrolls in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
    King decides to devote his life to God and enrolls in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. Here, he is an excellent student and what he learns in school will shape many of his ideas for the rest of his life.
  • King enters Boston University.

    King enters Boston University.
    Martin Luther King Jr begins doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University. His Ph.D degree from Boston University, Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology, was awarded on June 5, 1955.
  • King marries Coretta Scott.

    King marries Coretta Scott.
    King marries Coretta Scott, a former music student, at her parents' home in Marion, Alabama. When she first met him, Coretta was not sure she wanted to date a minister, but she eventually fell in love with him.
  • Elected the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association.

    Elected the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association.
    After Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a bus and is arrested, Montgomery African Americans refuse to ride the buses. A group called the Montgomery Improvement Association forms and elects 26 year-old King as its president.
  • King's house is bombed.

    King's house is bombed.
    While speaking at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, King's house is bombed by white people who are unhappy with the bus boycott. Despite the bombing, King encouraged the African Americans who had gathered at his home to not respond with violence.
  • First book, "Stride Toward Freedom" is published.

    First book, "Stride Toward Freedom" is published.
    King writes a book about the Montgomery bus boycotts and "Stride Toward Freedom" is published.
  • King is arrested in Atlanta.

    King is arrested in Atlanta.
    King is arrested while participating at a protest called a "sit-in" at a department store in Atlanta. Because he had a traffic ticket earlier in the year, a judge sends King to state prison, but Robert Kennedy calls the judge and King is released on October 27.
  • King is arrested in Birmingham, Alabama.

    King is arrested in Birmingham, Alabama.
    While protesting in Birmingham, Alabama, King is arrested for protesting without a permit. This makes Birmingham the focus of the Civil Rights Movement and King writes his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail."
  • King gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.

    King gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.
    i have a dreamThe March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is held in Washington, D.C. to try and gain support for the Civil Rights Act. King gives his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • King wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

    King wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
    King is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Civil Rights Movement. He is praised for calling for peaceful resistance to discrimination against African Americans.
  • King is assassinated in Memphis.

    King is assassinated in Memphis.
    While standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, King is assassinated by James Earl Ray. Riots break out in over 100 cities in the U.S. and over 20,000 people are arrested.
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    After King's death

    Unti his birthday became a national holiday
  • King's birthday is declared a national holiday.

    King's birthday is declared a national holiday.
    In honor of his work for equality in the U.S., King's birthday is declared a national holiday. He is one of only two people, along with Christopher Columbus, to have his own holiday.