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Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. born in Atlanta, Georgia

    Martin Luther King Jr. born in Atlanta, Georgia
    On this day in 1929, Michael King, later known as Martin Luther King Jr. is born in his grandparents house in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Begins College

    Begins College
    King begins his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • King's letter to the Atlanta Constitution

    King's letter to the Atlanta Constitution
    The Atlanta Constitution publishes King's letter to the editor stating that black people "are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens."
  • King Ordained

    King Ordained
    King is ordained and becomes the assistant pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • King Graduates from Morehouse

    King Graduates from Morehouse
    King receives his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Morehouse College.
  • Graduate studies

    Graduate studies
    King begins graduate studies in systematic theology at Boston University.
  • Marriage

    King and Coretta Scott are married at the Scott home near Marion, Alabama.
  • Creation of MIA

    Creation of MIA
    After Rosa Parks arrest four days prior, a mass meeting is held at Holt Street Baptist Church where the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) is formed. King becomes the President.
  • Browder v. Gayle

    Browder v. Gayle
    The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the lower court opinion in Browder v. Gayle declaring Montgomery and Alabama bus segregation laws unconstitutional.
  • SCLC

    Southern black ministers meet in Atlanta to share strategies in the fight against segregation. King is named chairman of the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration (later known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCLC).
  • Kings first national address

    Kings first national address
    At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., King delivers his first national address, "Give Us The Ballot," at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom.
  • King's first book

    King's first book
    King’s first book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story is published.
  • King adresses a rally

    King adresses a rally
    After the initial group of Freedom Riders seeking to integrate bus terminals are assaulted in Alabama, King addresses a mass rally at a mob-besieged Montgomery church.
  • The March on Washington

    The March on Washington
    The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom attracts more than two hundred thousand demonstrators to the Lincoln Memorial. Organized by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, the march is supported by all major civil rights organizations as well as by many labor and religious groups. King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech. After the march, King and other civil rights leaders meet with President John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House.
  • People-to-people tour

    People-to-people tour
    King and SCLC staff launch a People-to-People tour of Mississippi to assist the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in the Mississippi Freedom Summer campaign.
  • Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday
    In an event that will become known as "Bloody Sunday," voting rights marchers are beaten at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama as they attempt to march to Montgomery.
  • March from Selma to Montgomery

    March from Selma to Montgomery
    King, James Forman, and John Lewis lead civil rights marchers from Selma to Montgomery after a U.S. District judge upholds the right of demonstrators to conduct an orderly march.
  • Poor People's Campaign

    Poor People's Campaign
    King publicly reveals his plans to organize a mass civil disobedience campaign, the Poor People's Campaign, in Washington, D.C., to force the government to end poverty.
  • Memphis march

    Memphis march
    King leads a march of six thousand protesters in support of striking sanitation workers in Memphis. The march descends into violence and looting, and King is rushed from the scene.
  • King's last speech

    King's last speech
    King returns to Memphis, determined to lead a peaceful march. During an evening rally at Mason Temple in Memphis, King delivers his final speech, "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop."
  • King's death

    King's death
    King is shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.