Where African American History Is American History
Jan. 16, 2023

Ten Things You May Have Not Known About Martin Luther King Jr.

Ten Things You May Have Not Known About Martin Luther King Jr.
  1. Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael King Jr., but his father, a pastor, changed both names to Martin in honor of a German Protestant leader (Source: History.com)
  2. King was a gifted student who skipped ninth and eleventh grades in high school. He went on to attend Morehouse College at the age of 15 (Source: History.com). 
  3. King was an avid baseball fan and even considered becoming a professional player before becoming a minister. He also considered Jackie Robinson the "father of the modern civil rights movement (Source: The Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute). 
  4. King was not the original leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, and the boycott began the next day, with Jo Ann Robinson as the leader of the Montgomery Women's Political Council. King was elected the boycott's leader by its leaders on December 5th (Source: National Museum of African American History and Culture).
  5. King was arrested nearly 30 times for his Civil Rights Activism (Source: History.com).
  6. King's "I Have a Dream" speech was not the first time he delivered that message; he previously gave a version of it in Detroit and NYC before the famous March on Washington(Source: History.com).
  7. King was Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1963 (Source: The Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute).
  8. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, at 35, making him the youngest to receive the award. Malala Yousafzai has since become the youngest when she won it at 17 (Source: The Nobel Prize). 
  9. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee (Source: The Martin Luther King Jr Research and Education Institute).
  10. The campaign to make Dr. King's birthday a national holiday began four days after his assassination when Rep. John Conyers brought it to the floor of congress (Source: History.com).