10 Facts About Martin Luther King Jr

American Holidays are a very new thing for me and I’ve been learning as I go. Americans tend to have a lot of different holidays to us and I’m excited to bring you all on the learning curve with me. The first holiday of the 2023 Season is Martin Luther King Jr Day on the 16th of January! This is 10 Facts About Martin Luther King Junior.

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr?

Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was an American Baptist Minister and an activist. Martin Luther King Jr was one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968 when he was assassinated.

Facts About MLK Jr

Black American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.

Became a Pastor at 19 Years Old.

His father and grandfather were ministers at Ebenzer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Martin followed his family’s footsteps and chose ministry as his career. He was ordained a Baptist reverend when he was just 19 years old. He served as a co-pastor to his father before he continued his education.

Montgomery Improvement Association

In the year 1955, Martin founded the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) in conjunction with other executive members and officers of the NAACP’S Montgomery Chapter. The MIA, was a group of local Black ministers and community leaders that was formed to improve race relations in Montgomery.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

As president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, Martin led to the nonviolent Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. It led to the desegregation of the city buses. The boycott of the buses happened because of the Rosa Parks incident. Rosa (secretary of the local chapter NAACP), refused to give up her seat to a white woman. His involvement in the 381 day boycott led to the Supreme Court of the United States to rule that bus segregation was unconstitutional.

Birmingham Protest and Arrest

In April 1963, Martin Luther King organized and attended in non-violent protests in Birmingham to seek the end of desegregation in Alabama’s biggest city. This protest had brutal police responses with dogs and high pressure water hoses that was covered on a wide variety of news networks. The camera’s showed Martin and other protesters being attacked by police dogs and the hoses. Martin was then arrested and refused bail. He wrote the Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs

Crowds gather in front of the Washington Monument during the “March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom” in 1963.

Martin worked with other leaders to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This took place on the 28th of August in 1963. The whole purpose of the march was to protest against racial discrimination in employment and racial separatism in schools, while also demanding fair wages for workers. The March for Freedom and Jobs was the largest gathering in Washington D.C.’s history. King delivered his famous I Have A Dream Speech.


Martin Luther King was in Memphis, Tennessee on the 4th of April 1968. He was staying at the Lorraine Motel in room 306. That evening, King was standing on the balcony when he was struck by a bullet. He was rushed to the Saint Joseph Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later. Martin was 39 years old at the time of his death. The motel where he was shot at is now a National Civil Rights Museum.

Civil Rights Leadership

Many actions he was involved in:

  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • Freedom Riders, who traveled in pairs on interstate buses to test a new Federal law against segregated bus stations
  • Congress of Racial Equality, which had chapters throughout the U.S. concentrating on challenging racial segregation
  • Walk to Freedom, a 250,000 participant walk demanding jobs and civil rights
  • Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to help all people living in poor economic conditions

Legislative Change

Martin Luther King was involved in the following:

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 – banned discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, or national origin.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965 – restored and protected the right to vote
  • Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965 – allows immigration from groups other than those from the traditional European countries
  • Fair Housing Act of 1968 – banned housing discrimination for sales or rentals


Martin Luther King had the following:

  • Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1963 to commemorate his position as the spokesperson of the civil rights movement.
  • American Liberties Medallion in 1965 from the American Jewish Committee for the advancement of human liberty.
  • Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for successfully using non-violent actions to fight racial equality.
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award granted to citizens by the President of the United States, from Jimmy Carter in 1977 (awarded posthumously).
  • Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award granted by an act of U.S. Congress, in 2004 (awarded posthumously).

Love, Bee xxx

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