Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. He was an iconic American and Civil Rights leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through non-violence. He had a profound and deep impact on race relations within the United States beginning in the mid-1950s. On April 4, 1968, he was assassinated by James Earl Ray. The world mourned his death.
Fact 1. Â Michael King, Sr. adopted the name Martin Luther King, Sr. in honour of the German Protestant religious leader Martin Luther. Michael, Jr. followed his father’s lead and adopted the name himself.
Fact 2. Â He skipped both the 9th and 11th grades and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta at the age of 15 in 1944.
Fact 3. He completed his Ph.D. and was awarded his degree in 1955 at the age of 25.
Fact 4. Â During his last year in seminary, Martin Luther King, Jr. came under the influence of theologian Reinhold Niebbuhr, a classmate of his father’s, at Morehouse College. Niebbuhr was the single most important influence in Martin’s intellectual and spiritual development.
Fact 5. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35.
Fact 6. Martin Luther King, Jr. was recognized as the Man of the Year byÂ TimeÂ magazine in 1963.
Fact 7. He directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C. of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his famous address, “I Have a Dream.”
Fact 8. Â Due to the Rosa Parks incident, a bus boycott led by King involved 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence, and intimidation for the Montgomery’s African-American community.
Fact 9.Â King’s ideals were based on Christianity, but the execution was based on Ghandi’s non-violence philosophy.
Fact 10. Martin Luther King, Jr. Â was assassinated Â while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee. He had planned to lead a protest sympathy march with garbage workers of that city.