Martin Luther King Jr.
- Born on January 15, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia.
- He was the second child born from Michael Luther King, Sr. and Alberta King.
- His father later changed both his own and his son’s first name to Martin, in order that they resembled that of the sixteenth-century religious reformer Martin Luther.
- Martin Luther King had a strong desire to be an educated man. He excelled in nearly every educational setting afforded to him. He skipped two grades in high school and was admitted to Morehouse College at the age of 15.
- Received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Morehouse.
- Three years later, he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree. In the years to follow, Martin received a host of honorary degrees in law, divinity, and humanities from educational institutions throughout the world.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s aim was to get black people the same rights as white people and to achieve equality and peace between races in the United States. While he was trying to achieve his goal he had many obstacles he had to face:
- He was arrested over 20 times
- He received many threatening phone calls
- His house was bombed and set on fire.
- J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King Jr. butted heads constantly. J. Edgar Hoover called Martin Luther King Jr. "the most notorious liar in the country".
- He was stabbed by a African-American women while signing his new book.
- Burning crosses on the lawn were common
How he overcame obstacles
Although King faced many obstacles while on his mission for equality, he was able to overcome them and fortunately, Hoover and his attempts to discredit Dr. King did not hinder King’s efforts toward securing equal rights for all. He was able to overcome these obstacles as he stayed completely focused on improving the lives of black people and did not let anyone or anything alter that. Ignoring his constant hatred from whites and others, he spoke with remarkable consistency about the best means to achieve justice, freedom, reconciliation, and full human dignity.
“There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
- On the third Monday of January each year, Americans celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. - the civil rights activist who is often credited for singly-handedly leading the nation's civil rights movement.
- He received the 1964 Noble Peace Prize
- In 1965 King was awarded the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Committee for his "exceptional advancement of the principles of human liberty"
- In 1966, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America awarded King the Margaret Sanger Award for “his courageous resistance and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity.”
- In 1963 King was named Time Person of the Year
- More than 730 cities in the United States have streets named after King. King County, Washington rededicated its name in his honor in 1986