January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia and died on April 4, 1969 in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King was a leader, spokesperson and minister. He was most notably recognized for the Civil Rights Movement and Peace Movement as he fought for civil rights for Blacks nonviolently. King advocated for nonviolent methods of protests. He organized countless marches and boycotts for civil rights.

His leadership was fundamental to that movement’s success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. King rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the massive March on Washington (1963), to achieve civil rights.

 His most famous work is his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered in 1963, in which he spoke of his dream of a United States that is void of segregation and racism.  The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, also known as the March on Washington or The Great March on Washington, was held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. The purpose of the march was to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. At the march, final speaker Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in which he called for an end to racism. These efforts brought into being The Civil Rights Bill.

King organized a number of marches and protests and was a key figure in the American civil rights movement. He was instrumental in the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, the Montgomery bus boycott, and the March on Washington. These efforts help the Segration bill to Congress.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

At 6:05 p.m. the following day, King was standing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he and his associates were staying, when a sniper’s bullet struck him in the neck. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, at the age of 39. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King the first Monday after his birthday (January 15) as a  holiday honoring King . It is called the MLK Day of Service, a reflection of his legacy of addressing social problems through collective action.

Dr. Martin Luther King Quotes:

There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.”

Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.

Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.

Contributed by Tania Nicole Sutherland

Sources: Biography. com. History. com, The Civil Rights Bill of 1866 US House of Representatives, Wiki

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