Martin Luther King, Jr was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.

Here are some interesting facts about him.:

His birth name was Michael.

Martin Luther King was actually Michael King Jr. born on January 15, 1929. His father, a Baptist pastor, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. He changed his own name and his 5-year-old son’s too.


King went to college at 15 years old.

He skipped grades 9 and 12 before enrolling at Morehouse College. Martin Luther King was ordained as a Baptist minister before graduating college with a degree in sociology.


“I Have a Dream” was not the first speech of Martin Luther King at the Lincoln Memorial.

Six years before, King spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. King gave his first national speech on voting rights in front of a crowd of approximately 15,000 to 30,000.


King was under arrest 29 times.

He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.

Martin Luther King escaped an assassination attempt in 1958

He was signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry., who plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest almost puncturing his aorta. Martin Luther King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery.


Martin Luther King along with George Washington are the only Americans to have had their birthdays observed as a national holiday.

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that created a federal holiday to honor King. It is celebrated on the third Monday in January.


Take a look at his life: 




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