Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Birth

    Michael King, later known as Martin Luther King, Jr., is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Education

    King begins his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
  • Basic Rights Letter

    Basic Rights Letter
    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."
  • B.A. degree

    B.A. degree
    King receives his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Morehouse College.
  • Crozer Theological Seminary

    Crozer Theological Seminary
    King begins his studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
  • B.Div. Degree

    B.Div. Degree
    King graduates from Crozer with a bachelor of divinity degree, delivering the valedictory address at commencement.
  • Marriage

    King and Coretta Scott are married at the Scott home near Marion, Alabama.
  • Doctorate

    King is awarded his doctorate in systematic theology from Boston University.
  • First Child

    First Child
    Yolanda Denise King, the Kings’ first child, is born
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to vacate her seat and move to the rear of a city bus in Montgomery to make way for a white passenger.
  • MIA

    At a mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church, the Montgomery Improvement Association(MIA) is formed. King becomes its president.
  • Martin, III

    Martin, III
    Coretta King gives birth to their second child, Martin, III.
  • First Book

    First Book
    King’s first book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story is published.
  • Gaining National Notoriety

    Gaining National Notoriety
    King moves from Montgomery to Atlanta to devote more time to SCLC and the freedom struggle. He becomes assistant pastor to his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
  • Dexter Scott

    Dexter Scott
    Dexter Scott, King’s third child, is born.
  • Period: to

    SCLC conference

    King is arrested at an Albany, Georgia prayer vigil and jailed. After spending two weeks in jail, King is released.
  • SCLC conference

    SCLC conference
    During the closing session of the SCLC conference in Birmingham, Alabama, a member of the American Nazi Party assaults King, striking him twice in the face.
  • Bernice Albertine

    Bernice Albertine
    Bernice Albertine, King’s fourth child, is born.
  • Strength to Love

    Strength to Love
    Strength to Love, King's book of sermons, is published.
  • March on Washington

    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.
  • Man of the Year

    Man of the Year
    King is named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.
  • Why We Can’t Wait

    Why We Can’t Wait
    King's book Why We Can’t Wait is published.
  • Arrested

    King is arrested and jailed for demanding service at a white-only restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Nobel Peace Prize

    Nobel Peace Prize
    King receives the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway. He declares that "every penny" of the $54,000 award will be used in the ongoing civil rights struggle.
  • 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.
  • Selma to Montgomery

    Selma to Montgomery
    King helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing.
  • Beyond Vietnam

    Beyond Vietnam
    King delivers "Beyond Vietnam" to a gathering of Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam at Riverside Church in New York City. He demands that the U.S. take new initiatives to end the war.
  • Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

    Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
    King’s book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? is published.
  • The Trumpet of Conscience

    The Trumpet of Conscience
    King’s book :"The Trumpet of Conscience" is published.
  • Poor People's Campaign

    Poor People's Campaign
    In Memphis,Tennessee,King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign .The march descends into violence and looting, and King is rushed from the scene.
  • I’ve Been to the Mountaintop

    I’ve Been to the Mountaintop
    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."
  • Death

    King was shot by James Earl Ray and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
    King is buried in Atlanta.