Martin Luther King, Jr,

  • Birth

    Birth
    Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.His legal name at birth was Michael King. King's father was also born Michael King. The father changed his and his son's names following a 1934 trip to Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther.
  • King married Coretta Scott

    King married Coretta Scott
    King married Coretta Scott, on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents' house in her hometown of Heiberger, Alabama. They became the parents of four children: Yolanda King, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice King. During their marriage, King limited Coretta's role in the civil rights movement and expected her to be a housewife.
  • Religion

    Religion
    King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, when he was twenty-five years old, in 1954. As a Christian minister, his main influence was Jesus Christ and the Christian gospels, which he would almost always quote in his religious meetings, speeches at church, and in public discourses.
  • Doctoral studies

    Doctoral studies
    King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Ph.D. degree on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman".
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat.The Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by Nixon and led by King, soon followed. The boycott lasted for 385 days, and the situation became so tense that King's house was bombed.King was arrested during this campaign. King's role in the bus boycott transformed him into a national figure and the best-known spokesman of the civil rights movement.
  • Trip to India

    Trip to India
    Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's success with nonviolent activism, King had "for a long time...wanted to take a trip to India".With assistance from the Quaker group the American Friends Service Committee, he was able to make the journey in February 1959. The trip to India affected King, deepening his understanding of nonviolent resistance and his commitment to America's struggle for civil rights.
  • Jail

    Jail
    The SCLC began a campaign against racial segregation and economic injustice in Birmingham, Alabama. The campaign used nonviolent but intentionally confrontational tactics, developed in part by Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker. Black people in Birmingham, organizing with the SCLC, occupied public spaces with marches and sit-ins, openly violating laws that they considered unjust.
    King was arrested and jailed early in the campaign.From his cell, he composed the now-famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
  • Civil Rights March on Washington

    Civil Rights March on Washington
    The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. Attended by some 250,000 people, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital, and one of the first to have extensive television coverage.
    Martin Luther King, Jr., was arrested and jailed during these protests, writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham City Jail," which advocates civil disobedience against unjust laws.
  • I have a dream

     I have a dream
    King is most famous for his "I Have a Dream" speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
    The march originally was conceived as an event to dramatize the desperate condition of blacks in the southern U.S. and an opportunity to place organizers' concerns and grievances squarely before the seat of power in the nation's capital.
  • Nobel Peace Prize

    Nobel Peace Prize
    On October 14, 1964, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him for leading nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in the U.S.
  • Death

    Death
    On March 29, 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees.King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey, in Memphis. Then, at 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, a shot rang out as King stood on the motel's second-floor balcony. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.