Martin Luther King, Jr. was a humanitarian and social reformer who fought for African-American civil rights during the 1950s and 60s. He was assassinated in 1968.Know More
His famous "I Have a Dream" speech proclaimed a vision of equality and galvanized generations of Americans to fight against social and racial injustice. He was a leading activist in the American Civil Rights Movement.
King was an inspirational force which led to nonviolent protests against segregation in the 1950s, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He also took part in the 1963 March on Washington, a political rally which was a seminal event in advancing equal rights for African Americans. These campaigns were primary factors in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
King based his philosophy of peaceful civil disobedience on his Christian beliefs. He was also influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian political leader who used nonviolent tactics to lead the Indian independence movement against British rule in the 1930s and 40s. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered on the third Monday of January, which has been an official American holiday since 1986.Learn more about US History
Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested on Oct. 19, 1960, after refusing to leave the lunch counter of a department store in Atlanta. He and 75 of his followers had been denied lunch at the counter because of the local policies on segregation.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for civil rights because he envisioned a world where black citizens and white citizens were treated equally. He realized that even victories such as Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated schools, were not doing much to eliminate racism in the country.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot while he stood on the balcony of room 306 at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. He was in the city to support sanitation workers on strike for better pay and working conditions.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested 30 times between 1955 and 1965. All occurred during his leadership in the African American Civil Rights Movement. His first arrest was in 1955 leading the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala.Full Answer >