Martin luther king  jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Timeline

  • A Great Man Is Born

    A Great Man Is Born
    Martin Luther King, Jr., is born in Atlanta to teacher Alberta King and Baptist minister Michael Luther King.
  • An Educated Decision

    An Educated Decision
    Martin Luther King Jr. graduated for Booker T. Washing High Scool. He was 15 years old.
  • A New Beginning

    A New Beginning
    King begins his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
  • Opinions

    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."
  • New Career

    New Career
    King is ordained and appointed assistant pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
  • New Challenge

    New Challenge
    After receiving his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Morehouse College, he begins his studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
  • Next Challenge

    Next Challenge
    King graduates from Crozer with a bachelor of divinity degree, and begins his graduate studies in systematic theology at Boston University.
  • Wedding Bells

    Wedding Bells
    King and Coretta Scott are married at the Scott home near Marion, Alabama.
  • Beliefs

    King begins his pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Challenge Completed

    Challenge Completed
    King is awarded his doctorate in systematic theology from Boston University.
  • Baby In The Baby Carriage

    Baby In The Baby Carriage
    Yolanda Denise King, the Kings’ first child, is born.
  • A Leader Is Born

    A Leader Is Born
    At a mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church, the Montgomery Improvement Association(MIA) is formed. King becomes its president.
  • A Bright Star In Darkness

    A Bright Star In Darkness
    At 9:15 p.m., while King speaks at a mass meeting, his home is bombed. His wife and daughter are not injured. Later King addresses an angry crowd that gathers outside the house, pleading for nonviolence.
  • New Responsibilities

    New Responsibilities
    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).
  • Time To Be Recognized

    Time To Be Recognized
    King appears on the cover of Time magazine.
  • Adressing the Nation

    Adressing the Nation
    At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., King delivers his first national address, "Give Us The Ballot," at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom.
  • New Life

    New Life
    Coretta King gives birth to their second child, Martin, III.
  • A Close Call

    A Close Call
    During a book signing at Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem, New York, King is stabbed by Izola Ware Curry. He is rushed to Harlem Hospital where a team of doctors successfully remove a seven-inch letter opener from his chest.
  • A Trip of A Lifetime

    King embarks on a month-long visit to India where he meets with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and many of Gandhi’s followers.
  • Dedication

    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.
  • Support From Others

    Support From Others
    King meets privately in New York with Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy.
  • Jail Time

    Jail Time
    King is arrested during a sit-in demonstration at Rich’s department store in Atlanta. He is sentenced to four months hard labor for violating a suspended sentence he received for a 1956 traffic violation. He is released on $2000 bond on 27 October.
  • Bundle Of Joy

    Bundle Of Joy
    Dexter Scott, King’s third child, is born.
  • A New Order

    A New Order
    King meets with President John F. Kennedy and urges him to issue a second Emancipation Proclamation to eliminate racial segregation.
  • Assult

    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.
  • A Family Complete

    A Family Complete
    Bernice Albertine, King’s fourth child, is born.
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail

    Letter from Birmingham Jail
    Responding to eight Jewish and Christian clergymen’s advice that African Americans wait patiently for justice, King pens his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." King and Abernathy were arrested on 12 April and released on 19 April.
  • I Have A Dream

    I Have A Dream
    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.
  • Lives Taken

    Lives Taken
    King delivers the eulogy at the funerals of Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, and Cynthia Dianne Wesley, three of the four children that were killed during the 15 September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Carole Robertson, the fourth victim, was buried in a separate ceremony.
  • Tapped

    U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy authorizes the FBI to wiretap King’s home phone.
  • Man of the Year

    Man of the Year
    King is named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.
  • War on Poverty

    War on Poverty
    President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with King, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and James Farmer and seeks support for his War on Poverty initiative.
  • Upholding Rights

    Upholding Rights
    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.
  • Why We Can’t Wait

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

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

    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.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    King publicly opposes the Vietnam War at a mass rally at the Ninth Annual Convention of SCLC in Birmingham.
  • King vs. The FBI

    King vs. The FBI
    After King criticizes the FBI’s failure to protect civil rights workers, the agency’s director J. Edgar Hoover denounces King as "the most notorious liar in the country." A week later he states that SCLC is "spearheaded by Communists and moral degenerates."
  • Nobel

    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.
  • Demonstration

    King and his wife move into an apartment at 1550 South Hamlin Avenue in Chicago to draw attention to the city's poor housing conditions.
  • A Meeting

    A Meeting
    In Chicago, King meets Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.
  • March Against Fear

    March Against Fear
    King, Floyd McKissick of CORE, and Stokely Carmichael of SNCC resume James Meredith’s "March Against Fear" from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi, after Meredith was shot and wounded near Memphis.
  • 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

    Where Do We Go from Here
    King’s book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? is published.
  • 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.
  • Striking Workers

    Striking Workers
    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.
  • 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."
  • Shot

    King is shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
  • Six Feet Under

    Six Feet Under
    King is buried in Atlanta.