Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King, Jr: “I Have A Dream”

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prominent and influential civil rights activist and Baptist minister, known for his fight against social injustices and lasting impact on the lives of black American citizens in the 1950s and ‘60s. He is considered one of the best-known orators of modern times. The sermons and speeches he delivered during his push for civil rights still inspire many to this day.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended to Booker T. Washington High School. He was so intelligent that he skipped two grades (his first and last year) in high school. At age 15, Martin began his college studies at Morehouse College.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, MLK Jr. got a divinity degree from Crozer Seminary. Later, he got his doctor’s degree in theology from Boston University. Martin’s father was a Baptist minister who inspired him to pursue the ministry. He had an older sister and a younger brother. Martin married Coretta Scott in 1953. Later, they would’ve four children, including Bernice, Dexter, Martin, and Yolanda.
MLK Jr. led non-violent protests and resistance to fight for the civil rights of all people including African-Americans. He hoped for a colorblind society where race wouldn’t affect the civil rights of any person in America and around the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in his first major civil rights action. The arrest of Rosa Parks after refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man sparked this boycott. She spent the night in jail.
As a result, Martin rallied people to boycott the public transportation system in Montgomery. He led the boycott for over a year. At some point, it was very tense. The arrest of Martin and the bombing of his house triggered tensions. Ultimately, Martin prevailed since the boycott ended the segregation on the Montgomery buses.
We all know that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a pivotal figure in the American civil rights movement. Most of us know about his work as a Baptist minister and his roles with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
We know Martin had a dream, and he worked unflaggingly to make it a reality before being assassinated in 1968. However, along with lots of facts that we know today, there are just as many interesting facts, which may have sneaked by.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., we will share with you TEN interesting facts about this celebrated civil rights activist.
1. In 1964, at age 35, Martin won the Nobel Peace Prize. He remains the youngest man ever to receive the prize. (Mairead Corrigan, the co-founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement, is the youngest woman.)
2. He’s the only US citizen who never held a public office to have a federal holiday named after him.
3. A mentally ill woman stabbed Martin while at a book signing in 1958. The knife was so close to his aorta. In fact, the doctor said he would’ve most likely died if he had sneezed. King did not press charges against the woman.
4. The cities of Hiroshima, Japan, and Toronto, Canada also celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
5. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his honeymoon at a local funeral home because no honeymoon suites were available for African-Americans back then.
6. The FBI targeted Martin Luther King Jr. for being “the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.” Records of Martin that the FBI took are held in the National Archives. They remain top-secret until 2027.
7. King Jr. skipped two grades in Booker T. Washington High School, ninth and eleventh, and joined Moorehouse College at the tender age of 15 in 1944. By 19, he got a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
8. There was a long delay in calling an ambulance and getting Martin Luther King Jr medical treatment when he was shot because the motel’s switchboard operator saw the assassination happen and the shock led to her fatal heart attack.
9. When he died, MLK Jr. was planning a Poor People’s Campaign, demanding decent homes for the poor, jobs, and health care. He wanted the protesters to march on Washington and stay until the government meets all their demands. The protest started five weeks after his assassination.
10. Dr. King was arrested nearly 30 times. According to the King Center, the civil rights activist went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for the acts of civil disobedience and on various trumped-up charges, such as when the police arrested him in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 mph in a 25-mph zone.

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