About Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)…
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He became a Baptist Minister when he was 17. Later he received a Ph.D. from Boston University. While he was studying for a Ph.D. he became interested in the teachings of Gandhi. He particularly became interested in Gandhi’s ideas about peaceful resistance.
King was propelled to the public spotlight when, on December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested because she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a public bus. In protest of Parks’ arrest, Martin Luther King was chosen to organize a boycott of the public transportation system until segregation in the system was outlawed. The boycott lasted for 382 days, during which time King was arrested, threatened and his house was bombed.
In November, 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the laws requiring segregation on buses to be unconstitutional. This was a major victory in the movement for equal rights.
In 1963 Martin Luther King led a peaceful demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama, where police were known to be pro-segregation. Clashes between the 2 groups helped convince John F. Kennedy to introduce Civil Rights legislation into Congress.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963 was where King delivered his inspiring I Have a Dream Speech. This march also helped encouraged John F. Kennedy to introduce Civil Rights legislation in Congress. That legislation ultimately led to The Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion and country of origin.
In 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Over the next couple of years he continued to advocate for the rights of people and speak out against the Vietnam War. He was in the process on working on what was called The Poor People’s Campaign to help alleviate economic inequalities, when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King Jr. is a hero for all people. He put his life on the line for his beliefs. Yet he went up against societal injustices in a peaceful way.
This article was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 at 11:36 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Holidays Around the World, Martin Luther King Day, Martin Luther King Jr., People, Rosa Parks, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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