Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. He was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. His father was a Baptist minister, and his mother was a schoolteacher. King was a gifted student and skipped two grades in high school. He went on to attend Morehouse College, a historically black college in Atlanta, where he studied sociology and ministered at his father's church. He later graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and then completed his doctorate in systematic theology at Boston University.
In December 1955, King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted for 385 days and led to the U.S. Supreme Court declaring the city's segregation laws unconstitutional. This event marked the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1957, King co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform.
King continued to lead the Civil Rights Movement and was a key figure in the campaigns to end segregation and discrimination against black Americans. He played a major role in the African American Civil Rights Movement from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.
In 1963, King led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. In this speech, King called for an end to racism and for civil and economic rights for African Americans. The speech is widely considered to be one of the greatest speeches in American history and a defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement.
In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent civil rights activism. He was the youngest person to ever receive this award at the age of 35. That same year, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. His death sparked widespread riots in many U.S. cities, and his funeral was attended by thousands of people, including many prominent civil rights and political leaders.
King's legacy lives on to this day through his writings and speeches, as well as through the many organizations and institutions that continue to work for civil rights and social justice. His birthday, January 15th, is a national holiday in the United States, called Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Martin Luther King Jr was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. He is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. His work is widely regarded as a turning point in the history of civil rights in the United States and around the world. His dedication to nonviolence and his speeches such as “I have a dream” and “I've been to the mountain top” were seminal moments that continue to inspire millions of people around the world to this day.
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