MLK Birthday Observed, 1/20

On Monday, 1/20 Reverend Martin Luther King’s birthday will be observed. There will be no school to commemorate this significant event in our American history.

On this day,  our nation will come together to honor Dr. King and reflect on his work as a peacemaker and voice of equality for all.

While I’m sure we will all enjoy the day off from work or school in his honor, we should take a moment to remember the man and how he shaped our nation.  Below are some “quick” facts about Dr. King:

  • Dr. King was a brilliant student, graduating from high school and entering Morehouse College at 15, receiving his Bachelor’s degree at 19, attending Crozer Theological Seminary for 3 years, and eventually receiving a graduate fellowship at Boston University from which he received a doctorate in 1955 (age 25)
  • MLK Jr. Day is always observed on the 3rd Monday of January, due to the nearness of his actual birthday on January 15th
  • His birth name was actually Michael Luther King, but had it changed to Martin
  • The first protest Dr. King “led” was the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was set in motion by Rosa Park’s act of defiance
  • His wife’s name is Coretta and he had four children: Yolanda, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice
  • Until his death, Dr. King led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which he helped establish
  • Dr. King got his ideas for peaceful protest after observing and participating in “sit-ins” and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail” is just one of Dr. King’s many published works. He has at least 5 books published as well as numerous articles
  • Dr. King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 while standing on a hotel balcony in Memphis, TN. The shooter was James Earl Ray, who was caught and died in prison in 1998. King was there to participate in a labor strike for sanitation workers
  • The “I Have a Dream” speech was given at the close of the March on Washington in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial
  • Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his works with civil rights in 1964. He was 35, making him the youngest person to have received this award

Sources:

http://www.history.com/topic/martin-luther-king-jr

http://www.biography.com/print.profile/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086

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