MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Assassinated 50 Years Ago Today

posted by Greg Lane -

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior -- born January 15th, 1929 --- was a pastor, crusader and the youngest man ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. His name has become synonymous with the civil rights struggle.

  • He enrolled in Morehouse College at age 15 and found his calling. Before graduating with a sociology degree, he was ordained a minister. In 1955, King earned a PhD in theology from Boston University.
  • King became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. At a time when racial segregation was still the law in Southern states, he became involved in local civil rights efforts that became a national movement.
  • On August 28th, 1963, a quarter-million people marched on Washington, D.C. to demand civil rights and heard his "I Have a Dream" speech. "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident -- that all men are created equal."
  • Two decades after that momentous speech, the third Monday in January was made a federal holiday commemorating his birthday. Since the first observance on January 20th, 1986, it has been an occasion for people to remember King's life and re-dedicate themselves to achieving that dream.
  • In 1964, at age 35, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 
  • In 1968, King went to Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers, most of whom were black. On April 4th, he was assassinated while standing on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel. The Lorraine has since been converted into a national civil rights museum


January 15th, 1929 - Born in Atlanta as Michael King Junior. When he was about five, his namesake father legally changed their names.

1947 - Though skeptical of religion while growing up, he chose to enter the ministry in order to "serve humanity."

1948 - Enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary, near Philadelphia.

June 18th, 1953 - Married Coretta Scott; the couple would have four children.

1954 - Became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

1955 - Received his doctorate in theology from Boston University.

December 1st, 1955 - Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a Montgomery city bus. Doctor King became a leader in the boycott of buses that resulted from Parks's case.

1957 - Co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a social action organized by black churches. It was inspired by the successful crusades of the Reverend Billy Graham.

1963 - The SCLC began organizing non-violent protests advocating economic justice and an end to segregation in Birmingham, Alabama.

1963 - Suspicious of King and the SCLC's activities, the FBI began tapping his telephone.

August 28, 1963 - Helped lead the March on Washington, where he delivers his historic "I Have a Dream" speech.

October 14th, 1964 - Became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy of non-violent protest.

March 9th, 1965 - Organized a peaceful march from Selma to the Alabama state capital, Montgomery. Initially blocked by local authorities, it was successfully staged 16 days later.

April 4th, 1967 - Publicly spoke out against the war in Vietnam for the first time.

1968 - Organized the Poor People's Campaign, reaching across ethnic lines to protest economic inequality.

March 29th, 1968 - Went to Memphis in support of striking local sanitation workers.

April 3rd, 1968 - Delivered his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis.

April 4th, 1968 - Assassinated by gunman James Earl Ray while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

1986 - His birthday was established as a federal holiday.

I found this on line and wanted to share it with you.    Powerful !!!!!

Stevie Wonder gathered an all-star cast for a video marking the 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

The video, called "Dream Still Lives," features Barack and Michelle Obama, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Whoopi Goldberg, James Corden, Dave Matthews, Harry Styles, Condoleezza Rice, Dave Chappelle, Cher, SZA, Trevor Noah, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.


Greg Lane

Greg Lane

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