Martin Luther King Timeline

By Woff
  • Martin Luther King's Birth

    Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, at the American South.
    At first, he was called like his father; Michael
  • Period: to

    Martin Luther King's Life

    This timeline is about Martin Luther King, Jr. life, a very important activist and leader campaign that fought hard for the civil rights of the black people in America.
    The information in this timeline is extracted from the book of Pearson English Readers; Martin Luther King, by Coleen Degnan-Veness.
  • Changing his name

    Changing his name
    His father changes his first name, and his son's too, to Martin after a trip to Germany. He does this because of a great religious leader of Germany of the period of 1500's; Martin Luther.
  • Becoming a preacher

    Becoming a preacher
    This date is when Martin Luther King at the age of seventeen, became a preacher and started working as one at Ebenezer Church after very hard studies and choices about his future.
    It was this same year when he graduated from Morehouse College and continued his studies at a college for preachers near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • He graduates from the preachers college at 1951

    As soon as he gets de Bachelor of divinity degree, he continues his studies at the University of Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The Wedding

    The Wedding
    This date is when Martin married Coretta Scott.
    He met Coretta a year ago, in 1952 while studying in Boston. She was studying there too in a famous music school.
  • Going back to the South

    At this point, Martin Luther King thought about his future after the graduation: He could become a college professor. But even though he liked the idea, he felt like the poor black people at the South needed him.
    So in January 1954, he came back but continued his studies at night while working during the day. His first work there as a preacher, was at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Segregations in schools becomes ILLEGAL

  • Dr. Martin Luther King

    In 1955 was when he got the doctorate in systematic theology and graduated from the University of Boston
  • Yolanda's Birth

    Yolanda's Birth
    It was on November 1955 that the first child of Martin and Coretta was born; Yolanda Denise King.
  • The arrest

    It was on 1 of December of 1955 that a forty-year-old black woman, Mrs. Rosa Parks was arrested in a bus because she refused to give her seat to a white passenger. Luckily, she worked as a secretary to E.D. Nixon and after a phone call, he paid her bail and she could return to her home.
  • The meeting

    To give the seat to a white person when the bus is full is something that black people was used to do in the routine, but after the arrest of Mrs. Parks, Martin Luther King, Nixon and Abernathy organized a meeting of church leaders and other important black people. It was their opportunity to finish that.
    They invited Mrs. Parks to talk, and people in the city liked her. She agreed to go to court and fight for her civil rights.
  • The bus boycott

    The bus boycott
    It was on Monday's morning when 5,50,000 boycotters went to protest at the church of Holt Street: "We will not ride on segregated buses again!".
    In that same morning Abernathy suggested to create a new organization; the MIA. They needed a new organization with a strong leader to continue the boycott, and Martin Luther King was chosen. He doubted from inside, but he accepted with the fraise: "Somebody has to do it. And if you think I can, I will...".
  • Boycotts become illegal

    It was in April that the city leaders told the MIA to stop the boycott. Then boycotts became illegal.
    But that didn't stop King and the rest of the people, and even he got arrested again and he had to pay again $500 bail, the world opinion was with him and he was famous.
  • Martin Luther King arrested

    Martin Luther King arrested
    While the bus boycott continued and the bus company and white poiticians where losing money, the police started wanting to stop the boycott and King.
    In the night of January 26, Martin was arrested for driving two kilometersan hour faster. With that situation Abernathy led to the jail a crowd of black people and the police had to let Martin Luther King go home.
  • Martin Luther King's home bombed

    It was on the evening of January 30, when the KKK (Ku Klux Klan, a secret organization of white men who hated African-Americans) bombed King's house.
    Luckily, no one was hurt, but when Martin arrived hurried, there was hundreds of black people that where very angry and wanted to attack the white policemen. In front of that, Martin insisted that they should love their white brothers and meet hate with love, and the people went home.
  • The jail protest

    It was on February 21 when the court in Montgomery decided to jail eighty-nine boycotters and all black drivers. Then Martin Luther King, that at that moment was in Nashville, Tennessee, went to join the them in jail on the day 24. He had to py $500 and court costs, but he was happy because now people read in the newspaper about the peaceful protest in Montgomery.
  • Segregation on buses become ILLEGAL

    After 382 days of the boycott, the US goverment passed a new law; the segregation on buses was finally illegal. Martin Luther King, the MIA and all the people that participated finally got their rights.
  • Abernathy's house and church were bombed

    The 1956 ended with a terrible violence by the KKK to the black people in Montgomery, there was shooting at buses and burning crosses, and 1957 started with violence too. It was on the January of the 1957 that Abernathy's house and church were bombed.
  • Visiting Africa

    In this date Coretta and Martin flew to Ghana, West Africa. It was they first visit to Africa and Martin Luther King learned a lot from it.
    When he returned he wanted the President Eisenhower to help to stop the segregation of the blacks in the South, but he was not interested. So, Martin and Abernathy went to Washington and talked to Richard Nixon, that was the closest to the President at that moment. They wanted him to give a message to the President. But that visit didn't change anything.
  • The new organization; SCLC

    In this date 115 black leaders were called to Montgomery and they started a new organization; the SCLC (the Southern Christian Leadership Conference). This organization was to help African-American people get voting rights.
    And again, Martin Luther King was voted for president. From here he started doing lots of speeches around the country, and for that he needed the help of three people from the North; Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison and Ella Baker.
  • Martin Luther King III

    Martin Luther King III
    On the October of 1957, the second child was born, and he was named as Martin Luther King III.
  • The second arrest to Martin Luther King

    The second arrest to Martin Luther King
    In September 3 Martin tried to go inside a court to talk to Abernathy. But when he was going to walk in a guard angrily told him "Boy, if you don't get away from here, you will need a lawyer!". Then two policemen took him to jail, it was when they were taking him that a newspaper photographer took this photo and was printed to a lot of newspapers.
  • Going back to Atlanta

    On November 29, 1959, Martin decided to leave Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and work with his father at the Ebezener Church in Atlanta because he needed more time for the SCLC. Before he left (February 1, 1960) the black leaders of Montgomery made a goodbye party for him. At that same day a group of black students started a new peaceful protest.
  • Martin Luther King sent to the Reidsville State Prison

    Since Martin left, a new protest started with black college students where they walked in to lunch bars that were for "Whites only" and sat down. The students of the SNCC (the organization for young, black college students) aked him to join them.
    Then, on October 19, Martin was arrested with thirty-five students at Rich's lunch bar. The students were sent home on the 25 day, but not him. He stayed in jail for 4 months and then he was taken to Reidsville State Prison for the worst criminals.
  • King freed from Reidsville Prison thanks to "JFK"

    In the newspaper, the frontpage reported the move of Martin Luther King to Reidsville. After seeing that, she called worried Martin's lawyer. After some phone calls, John Kennedy, a famous politician that was campaigning for President at that moment, offered to help. He talked to Judje Mitchell on October 27, that was the one that was preventing Martin Luther King from going out of jail, and Martin was freed on $2,000 bail.
  • Dexter Scott King

    Dexter Scott King
    This year the third child was born; Dexter Scott King.
  • The segregation attacks from KKK

    The segregation attacks from KKK
    In this date, a Freedom Ride bus (buses were protesters would seat on "only whites seats") was attacked by 200 KKK men. They threw a firebomb into the bus, and when the passengers got out, the KKK hit them with heavy sticks. There was another bus after this one, but police let the KKK attck the passengers. Lots of people were hurt and sent to the hospital. But the KKK followed them and attacked them inside.
    This got out on the newspaper and Americans across the country were very angry.
  • The segregation attack at the church

    In the evening of this date, JFK gave a speech in Abernathy's church to 1,500 people. Outside, there was a large crowd of segregationists shouting, but some soldiers protected the church. The segregationists started throwing rocks through the windows and the soldiers used gas against them. Martin was worried and called Robert Kennedy and he assured to send more soldiers. But before that, the national president sent the National Guard and police and they began to move the people out of the church
  • The segregation in bus stations of the South ENDS

  • Bernice Albertine King

    Bernice Albertine King
    It was on March 1963 that the last child was born; Bernice Albertine King.
  • Its illegal to demonstrate in Alabama

    Black population in Birmingham was ruled by fear and there was a lot of segregation. The main problem was Bull Connor, the police chief, given that he hated blacks and civil rights campaigns. Martin went there and led meetings and demonstrations with Abernathy. But on April 11, the Alabama state court sent a letter to them. Now it was illegal for blacks to demonstrate. Martin Luther King said in TV "The court will not stop me". The next day, him, Abernathy and 50 demonstrators were put to jail.
  • The march in Birmingham where children participated

    The march in Birmingham where children participated
    There was plans for a protest march, and black children wanted to participate. Martin agreed, and in this date adult protesters led about 1,000 children on the march. More than 600 black children were arrested. Next day 2,500 children marched again. Bull Connor gave the order to the firemen to attack the children with water, it knoked them down. Police dogs ran after some marchers and bit them. Lots were hurt and 250 were arrested. That was broadcast on TV, and people was terrified.
  • Bull Connor loses his job

    In this date Bull Connor finally lost his job. Now black people could be employed in the stores downtown and the words "white" and "colored" disappeared from bathrooms, lunch bars, and drinking water machines.
  • The Washington march

    The Washington march
    In this march organized by Martin Luther King, Bayard Rustin and the SCLC, one hundred "Freedom Buses" drove into the city every hour, 21 "Freedom Trains" brought marchers from around the US, an airplane brought movie stars, and there was more than 200,000 marchers in the nation's capital where the almost one quarter were white. The three biggest TV stations broadcast live the marching, everyone was watching. There, Martin Luther King gave his famous speech "I have a dream...".
  • Jhon F. Kennedy death

    Jhon F. Kennedy death
    On November 22, 1963, Jhon Kennedy was riding through the streets of Dallas, Texas, when he was shot dead.
    Lyndon Baines Johnson became the next president.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. recieves the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway

  • The starting of a voting rights campaign

    In 1965 had an adult population of 30,000 and half were black, but only 333 of them could vote. King organized a march there on January 18, where he led 400 blacks to the courthouse. There, he aked politely to put the marchers' names on the voting list and they were told to leave. Then, they marched to a big hotel where they signed their names to the voting list.
  • LBJ promises voting rights for all Americans

    In this date police arrested Martin Luther King, Abernathy, and 250 marchers. But from inside jail, Martin kept giving orders to the marchers through his assistant, Andrew Young. The next day there was an another march, and at the afternoon there was 500 children arrested. That didn't stop the marchers. At the end of the day, there was 3,000 people in jail.
    After that, President Johnson promised on television voting rights for all Americans.
  • Meeting the President

    Martin Luther King met LBJ on February 9. The president promised again to introduce a new civil rights law, but the next day a group of students marchers were attacked in Selma. In response, Martin led a crowd of 2,800 angry black marchers, the biggest march of that campaign. There was more violence from whites of there. The newspapers reported everything.
  • Malcolm X

    By the middle of 1960's, the peaceful protests grew more unpopular with young blacks, they wanted better houses and jobs fast. So, they started listening to other men with a very dangerous message.
    One of those was Malcolm X. He believed that the march on Washington was organized by white politicians, and told blacks to defend themselves with guns against the enemy. He left his organization in 1964 and in the date above, three men from the organization shot and killed him in Manhattan.
  • The "Bloody Sunday"

    It was on March 5, that Martin Luther King was in Atlanta and protesters decided to march without him. The police violence was the worse that happened till that day, even worse than in Birmingham. The reports in TV and newspaper called that day "Bloody Sunday". Now there was demonstations around the country because Americans were angry. Martin asked the protesters to go to Selma and help him with the segregation there and many went.
  • President Johnson asks the goverment to pass the new Voting Rights law

  • The Selma to Montgomery march

    The Selma to Montgomery march
    King started a march of 5 days with 3,200 people from Selma to Montgomery. They wanted the Alabama state lider, George Wallace to lisent to them. Wallace refused to protect the protesters. Luckliy, President Johnson sent 3,900 soldiers and 100 FBI men. There was no violence along the way.
    When they arrived, Martin went to the state building with some protesters, Rosa Parks one of them. But Wallace refused to come out. Despite everything, Martin said to the crowd that soon they would vote freely.
  • President Johnson signs the new Voting Rights law

    President Johnson signs the  new Voting Rights law
    It was on August 6, 1965 that President Johnson finally signed the new Voting Rights law. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks stood next to him.
  • The rioting in Watts

    From August 11-16 there was the worst America's riot. It destroyed so much of Watts, a poor part of Los Angeles. It was started by a group of young black men. There was 34 deaths, 900 people hurt, and 3,500 arrested. When Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived and saw all the destruction, went to the city leaders and explained the reasons for the rioters' actions; almost one-third of blacks in Watts had no jobs, he said. But the city leaders didn't agree with him.
  • Stokely Carmichael

    Stokely Carmichael was the second men that grew more popular by the 1960's. He became the new leader of the SNCC in 1966. People called him "the new Malcolm X" in the newspapers. He liked Martin Luther King, but he did not agree with him. He didn't see it possible to work toghether with whites, and he and his followers were prepared for violence. Lots of riots started.
  • Martin Luther King's commentary

    In 1965, America was getting into the war in Asia, and by June 1966, there was 125,000 US soldiers there. The US bombs were killing a lot of Vietnamese people and Martin Luther King, Jr. said "The war in Vietnam must stop". President Johnson was very angry at him for giving his opinion.
  • President Johnson wants to destroy Martin Luther King, Jr.

    By the fall in 1967, there were more than 350,000 soldiers fighting in war. Lots of Americans protested against the goverment's actions. Martin Luther King told the SCLC to vote against President Johnson.
    After that LBJ wanted to destroy King, and he told the FBI to get information about Martin Luther King's private life. They taped his telephone calls and put tape recorders in his room. Martin's life was in danger and he knew it.
  • Martin Luther King's, Jr. death

    Martin Luther King's, Jr. death
    In the evening of this day, in Memphis, Tennessee, it was the last speech of Martin Luther King. The speech was for workers who wanted higher pay from the city.
    He spoke about the needing of peace and ended the speech saying; "I want you to know that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man".
    That same afternoon, at six o'clock, he was shot in the face. He was taken to the hospital, but died one hour later.
  • The silent march

    The silent march
    After Martin Luther King's, Jr. death, Stokely Carmichael started new riots saying to the black people; "This is an act of war! Get your gun!". There were riots in 110 cities and 39 people were killed.
    On April 8, Abernathy, and the King's family led a silent march for black workers and for King. Then, on April 17, the workers won the long fight.
  • Goodbye to Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Goodbye to Martin Luther King, Jr.
    On April 9, inside Ebenezer Church there was 800 people listening to Abernathy, to say goodbye to Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta and the four children sat in front. There was 80,000 people standing outside, and one houndred and twenty million Americans were watching on TV.
    Later the FBI found the killer's gun and identyfied the murderer. It was James Earl Ray, a criminal that hated blacks. He was sent to prison for thirty years.
  • Martin Luther King Day

    In this date, Coretta King's dream became true: a day to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he did to help the segregation and equality between blacks and whites.
    The Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday day where people help the poor, the sick, the homeless and the old people. Preachers from different churches meet to talk about King's work and sing the songs that people sang on his marches. And in the schools children are taught about King and the civil rights campaign.
  • The end

    The end
    It was in January 1993 that Dexter Scott King, the third children of Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, "My father died at age thirty-nine. But he lived a life fuller than most people".