Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Jamie Thibault

Have you heard of Martin Luther King, Jr.?  He was a very important African American who was born in 1929 in segregated Georgia.  His birth name was Michael King, Jr. but both he and his father later changed their name to Martin Luther.  He was an excellent student who skipped the 9th and 12th grade.  Martin entered college at the age at 15.  He studied sociology and divinity in college.

In 1953 Martin Luther King, Jr. married Coretta Scott.  They had four children  Their children’s names are:  Yolanda, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice. During this time he became very

involved in the fight for the rights of all people.  King’s first involvement with the Civil Rights Movement was in 1955  when he participated in the  Montgomery Bus Boycott.  In February 1959, he traveled to India to study Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent way to fight for rights.  Martin Luther gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, and then in 1964 he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  On November 2, 1983, President Reagan signed a bill declaring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a Federal holiday.  Every year on the 3rd Monday in January all Americans celebrate and remember this famous African American.