Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Today we can celebrate, honor, and remember an activist who worked to help and inspire people. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister, author, and activist. He was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and known for promoting and leading nonviolent civil disobedience.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15, 1929. He and his father’s first names were Michael before his father changed their names to honor reformer Martin Luther. He was involved in the church choir which his mother led at the church where his father preached. He became known for public speaking and debate while attending Booker T. Washington High School. He skipped two grades before graduating and attending Morehouse College. He graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He next graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Divinity from Crozer Theological Seminary.
Martin married Coretta Scott in 1953. They later had four children. In 1954, Martin became a pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Alabama. In 1955, he received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University.
Also in 1955, Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery bus boycott. King was arrested and incarcerated during some of the 385 days the boycott lasted. King became famous during this time. King and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. King led marches and protests that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Many famous marches, speeches, and writings were made during this time. One of these were the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King made the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Martin Luther King Jr. worked as an activist for multiple causes. He tried to serve and help others, he opposed the Vietnam War, tried to help the poor and hungry, and promote civil rights for African Americans and others.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. Day began in some cities in 1971. In 1992, the holiday began to be observed on the third Monday of January nationally. Many awards, memorials, and much recognition has been given to Martin Luther King Jr. to honor his significant role in culture and society.
Be inspired! Have a bright day!