Martin Luther King, Jr

Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929April 4, 1968

Date of birth:January 15 1929(1929--)
Place of birth:Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Date of death:March 4 1968 (aged 39)
Place of death:Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Movement:African-American Civil Rights Movement
Major organizations:Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Notable prizes:Nobel Peace Prize (1964)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977)
Congressional Gold Medal (2004)
Major monuments:Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (planned)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929April 4, 1968), was one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement. A Baptist minister by training, King became a civil rights activist early in his career, leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helping to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, raising public consciousness of the civil rights movement and establishing King as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.

Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Martin Luther King Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986. In 2004, King was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.[1]

Early life

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Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He had an older sister, Willie Christine (September 11, 1927) and a younger brother, Albert Daniel July 30, 1930July 21, 1969). King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. He entered Morehouse College at age fifteen, skipping his ninth and twelfth high school grades without formally graduating. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree in 1951. In September 1951, King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) on June 5, 1955[2] (but see the Plagiarism section for controversy regarding this degree).

Civil rights activism

In 1953, at age 24, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to comply with the Jim Crow laws that required her to give up her seat to a white man. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by E. D. Nixon (head of the Montgomery NAACP chapter and a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) and led by King, soon followed. (In March 1953, a 15 year old school girl, Claudette Colvin, suffered the same fate, but King refused to become involved, instead preferring to focus on leading his church.[3]) The boycott lasted for 381 days, the situation becoming so tense that King's house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States Supreme Court decision outlawing racial segregation on all public transport.

King was instrumental in the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, a group created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. King continued to dominate the organization. King was an adherent of the philosophies of nonviolent civil disobedience used successfully in India by Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, and he applied this philosophy to the protests organized by the SCLC. In 1959, he wrote The Measure of A Man, from which the piece What is Man?, an attempt to sketch the optimal political, social, and economic structure of society, is derived.

Attributing his inspiration for non-violent activism to the example of Mahatma Gandhi, he visited the Gandhi family in India in 1959, with assistance from the Quaker group, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The trip to India affected King in a profound way, deepening his understanding of nonviolent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, “Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation.” [1]

The FBI began wiretapping King in 1961, fearing that Communists were trying to infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, but when no such evidence emerged, the bureau used the incidental details caught on tape over six years in attempts to force King out of the preeminent leadership position.

King correctly recognized that organized, nonviolent protest against the system of southern segregation known as Jim Crow laws would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for black equality and voting rights. Journalistic accounts and televised footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights workers and marchers, produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion that made the Civil Rights Movement the single most important issue in American politics in the early 1960s.

King organized and led marches for blacks' right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into United States law with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

King and the SCLC applied the principles of nonviolent protest with great success by strategically choosing the method of protest and the places in which protests were carried out in often dramatic stand-offs with segregationist authorities. Sometimes these confrontations turned violent. King and the SCLC were instrumental in the unsuccessful Albany Movement in Albany, Georgia, in 1961 and 1962, where divisions within the black community and the canny, low-key response by local government defeated efforts; in the Birmingham protests in the summer of 1963; and in the protest in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964. King and the SCLC joined forces with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, Alabama, in December 1964, where SNCC had been working on voter registration for several months.[4]

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King is perhaps most famous for his "I Have a Dream" speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

March on Washington

King, representing SCLC, was among the leaders of the so-called "Big Six" civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six were: Roy Wilkins, NAACP; Whitney Young, Jr., Urban League; A. Philip Randolph, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; John Lewis, SNCC; and James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). For King, this role was another which courted controversy, since he was one of the key figures who acceded to the wishes of President John F. Kennedy in changing the focus of the march. Kennedy initially opposed the march outright, because he was concerned it would negatively impact the drive for passage of civil rights legislation, but the organizers were firm that the march would proceed.

The march originally was conceived as an event to dramatize the desperate condition of blacks in the South and a very public opportunity to place organizers' concerns and grievances squarely before the seat of power in the nation's capital. Organizers intended to excoriate and then challenge the federal government for its failure to safeguard the civil rights and physical safety of civil rights workers and blacks, generally, in the South. However, the group acquiesced to presidential pressure and influence, and the event ultimately took on a far less strident tone.

As a result, some civil rights activists felt it presented an inaccurate, sanitized pageant of racial harmony; Malcolm X called it the "Farce on Washington," and members of the Nation of Islam who attended the march faced a temporary suspension.[5]

The march did, however, make specific demands: an end to racial segregation in public school; meaningful civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discrimination in employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality; a $2 minimum wage for all workers; and self-government for the District of Columbia, then governed by congressional committee.

Despite tensions, the march was a resounding success. More than a quarter million people of diverse ethnicities attended the event, sprawling from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial onto the National Mall and around the reflecting pool. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington's history. King's "I Have a Dream" speech electrified the crowd. It is regarded, along with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory.

Throughout his career of service, King wrote and spoke frequently, drawing on his experience as a preacher. His "Letter from Birmingham Jail", written in 1963, is a passionate statement of his crusade for justice. On October 14, 1964, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him for leading non-violent resistance to end racial prejudice in the United States.

Stance on compensation

On several occasions Martin Luther King Jr. expressed a view that black Americans, as well as other disadvantaged Americans, should be compensated for historical wrongs. Speaking to Alex Haley in 1965, he said that granting black Americans only equality could not realistically close the economic gap between them and whites. King said that he did not seek a full restitution of wages lost to slavery, which he believed impossible, but proposed a government compensatory program of US$50 billion over ten years to all disadvantaged groups. He posited that "the money spent would be more than amply justified by the benefits that would accrue to the nation through a spectacular decline in school dropouts, family breakups, crime rates, illegitimacy, swollen relief rolls, rioting and other social evils."[6] His 1964 book Why We Can't Wait elaborated this idea further, presenting it as an application of the common law regarding settlement of unpaid labor.[7] After this there was a short period where King fell into depression and life seemed like a blur to him but success soon lifted his spirits.

"Bloody Sunday"

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President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with King in the White House Cabinet Room
King and SCLC, in partial collaboration with SNCC, attempted to organize a march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, for March 25, 1965. The first attempt to march on March 7 was aborted because of mob and police violence against the demonstrators. This day has since become known as Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday was a major turning point in the effort to gain public support for the Civil Rights Movement, the clearest demonstration up to that time of the dramatic potential of King's nonviolence strategy. King, however, was not present. After meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson, he attempted to delay the march until March 8, but the march was carried out against his wishes and without his presence by local civil rights workers. Footage of the police brutality against the protesters was broadcast extensively and aroused national public outrage.

The unexpected ending of a second attempt of the march aroused the surprise and anger of many within the local movement. The march finally went ahead fully on March 25, and it was during this march that Willie Ricks coined the phrase "Black Power" (widely credited to Stokely Carmichael). On the steps of the state capitol building, King delivered a speech that has become known as "How Long, Not Long."

Bayard Rustin

African American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin counseled King to dedicate himself to the principles of non-violence in 1956 and had a leadership role in organizing the 1963 March on Washington. However, Rustin's open homosexuality and support of democratic socialism and ties to the Communist Party USA caused many white and African American leaders to demand that King distance himself from Rustin.


In 1966, after several successes in the South, King and other people in the civil rights organizations tried to spread the movement to the North, with Chicago as its first destination. King and Ralph Abernathy, both middle class folk, moved into Chicago's slums as an educational experience and to demonstrate their support and empathy for the poor.

The SCLC formed a coalition with CCCO, Coordinating Council of Community Organizations, an organization founded by Albert Raby, Jr., and the combined organizations' efforts were fostered under the aegis of The Chicago Freedom Movement (CFM). During that spring several dual white couple/black couple tests on real estate offices uncovered the practice, now banned by the Real Estate Industry, of "steering"; these tests revealed the racially selective processing of housing requests by couples who were exact matches in income, background, number of children, and other attributes, with the only difference being their race.

The needs of the movement for radical change grew, and several larger marches were planned and executed, including those in the following neighborhoods: Bogan, Belmont-Cragin, Jefferson Park, Evergreen Park (a suburb southwest of Chicago), Gage Park and Marquette Park, among others.

In Chicago, Abernathy later wrote that they received a worse reception than they had in the South. Their marches were met by thrown bottles and screaming throngs, and they were truly afraid of starting a riot. King's beliefs mitigated against his staging a violent event; if King had intimations that a peaceful march would be put down with violence he would call it off for the safety of others. Nonetheless, he led these marches in the face of death threats to his person. And in Chicago the violence was so formidable it shook the two friends.

Another problem was the duplicitousness of the city leaders. Abernathy and King secured agreements on action to be taken, but this action was subverted after-the-fact by politicians within Mayor Richard J. Daley's corrupt machine. Abernathy disliked the slums and secretly moved out after a short period. King stayed and wrote of the emotional impact Coretta and his children suffered from the horrid conditions.

When King and his allies returned to the south, they left Jesse Jackson, a seminary student who had previously joined the movement in the South, in charge of their organization. Jackson displayed oratorical skill and organized the first successful boycotts against chain stores. One such campaign targeted A&P Stores which refused to hire blacks as clerks; the campaign was so effective that it laid the groundwork for the equal opportunity programs begun in the 1970s.

Further challenges

Starting in 1965, King began to express doubts about the United States' role in the Vietnam War. In an April 4, 1967, appearance at the New York City Riverside Church — exactly one year before his death — King delivered Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. In the speech he spoke strongly against the U.S.'s role in the war, insisting that the U.S. was in Vietnam "to occupy it as an American colony" and calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." But he also argued that the country needed larger and broader moral changes:

Insert the text of the quote here, without quotation marks.

King was long hated by many white southern segregationists, but this speech turned the more mainstream media against him. Time called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi", and The Washington Post declared that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."

With regards to Vietnam, King often claimed that North Vietnam "did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had arrived in the tens of thousands." King also praised North Vietnam's land reform.[8] He accused the United States of having killed a million Vietnamese, "mostly children."[9]

The speech was a reflection of King's evolving political advocacy in his later years, sparked in part by his affiliation with and training at the progressive Highlander Research and Education Center. King began to speak of the need for fundamental changes in the political and economic life of the nation. Toward the end of his life, King more frequently expressed his opposition to the war and his desire to see a redistribution of resources to correct racial and economic injustice. Though his public language was guarded, so as to avoid being linked to communism by his political enemies, in private he sometimes spoke of his support for democratic socialism:

You can't talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can't talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You're really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry… Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong… with capitalism… There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.[10]

King had read Marx while at Morehouse, but while he rejected "traditional capitalism," he also rejected Communism because of its "materialistic interpretation of history" that denied religion, its "ethical relativism," and its "political totalitarianism."[11]

King also stated in his "Beyond Vietnam" speech:[12] "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." From Vietnam to South Africa to Latin America, King said, the U.S. was "on the wrong side of a world revolution." King questioned "our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America," and asked why the U.S. was suppressing revolutions "of the shirtless and barefoot people" in the Third World, instead of supporting them.

In 1968, King and the SCLC organized the "Poor People's Campaign" to address issues of economic justice. However, according to the article "Coalition Building and Mobilization Against Poverty", King and SCLC's Poor People's Campaign was not supported by the other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including Bayard Rustin. Their opposition incorporated arguments that the goals of Poor People Campaign was too broad, the demands unrealizable, and thought these campaigns would accelerate the backlash and repression on the poor and the black.[13]

The campaign culminated in a march on Washington, D.C. demanding economic aid to the poorest communities of the United States. He crisscrossed the country to assemble "a multiracial army of the poor" that would descend on Washington—engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol, if need be—until Congress enacted a poor people's bill of rights. Reader's Digest warned of an "insurrection."

King's economic bill of rights called for massive government jobs programs to rebuild America's cities. He saw a crying need to confront a Congress that had demonstrated its "hostility to the poor"—appropriating "military funds with alacrity and generosity," but providing "poverty funds with miserliness." His vision was for change that was more revolutionary than mere reform: he cited systematic flaws of racism, poverty, militarism and materialism, and that "reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced."[14]

In April 3, 1968, at Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ, Inc. - World Headquarters) King prophetically told a euphoric crowd during his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech:

It really doesn't matter what happens now… some began to… talk about the threats that were out—what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers… Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place, but I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain! And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And so I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. My eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Lord!


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The Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated, now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum
In late March 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees, represented by AFSCME Local 1733, who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treatment: for example, African American workers, paid $1.70 per hour, were not paid when sent home because of inclement weather (unlike white workers).[15][16][17]

On April 3, King returned to Memphis and addressed a rally, delivering his "I've been to the Mountaintop" address.

King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey, in Memphis. Reverend Ralph Abernathy, King's close friend and colleague who was present at the assassination, swore under oath to the HSCA that King and his entourage stayed at room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often it was known as the, 'King-Abernathy suite.'[18] While standing on the motel's 2nd floor balcony, King was shot at 6:01 p.m. April 4, 1968. The bullet entered through his right cheek smashing his jaw and then traveling down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.[19] According to biographer Taylor Branch, King's last words on the balcony were to musician Ben Branch (no relation to Taylor Branch) who was scheduled to perform that night at an event King was attending: "Ben, make sure you play 'Precious Lord, Take My Hand,' in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty."[20] Friends inside the motel room heard the shots and ran to the balcony to find King on the ground. Local Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, whose house King was on his way to, remembers that upon seeing King go down he ran into a hotel room to call an ambulance, but nobody was on the switchboard so he ran back out and yelled to the police to get one on their radios. It was later revealed that the hotel switchboard operator, upon seeing King shot, had had a fatal heart attack and could not operate the phones.[21] King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital at 7:05 p.m. The assassination led to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 60 cities.[22] Five days later, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national day of mourning for the lost civil rights leader. A crowd of 300,000 attended his funeral that same day. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey attended on behalf of Lyndon B. Johnson, who was meeting with several advisors and cabinet officers on the Vietnam War in Camp David (there were fears Johnson might be hit with protests and abuses over the war if he attended). At his widow's request, King eulogized himself: his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a recording of his famous 'Drum Major' sermon, given on February 4, 1968, was played at the funeral. In that sermon he makes a request that at his funeral no mention of his awards and honors be made, but that it be said that he tried to "feed the hungry", "clothe the naked", "be right on the [Vietnam] war question", and "love and serve humanity". Per King's request, his good friend Mahalia Jackson sang his favorite hymn, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord", at the funeral.

According to biographer Taylor Branch, King's autopsy revealed that though he was only 39 years old, he had the heart of a 60 year old man, evidencing the stress the 13 years in the civil rights movement had on him.[23]

The city quickly settled the strike, on favorable terms, after the assassination.[24][25]

Two months after King's death, escaped convict James Earl Ray was captured at London Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom on a false Canadian passport in the name of Ramon George Sneyd. Ray was quickly extradited to Tennessee and charged with King's murder, confessing to the assassination on March 10, 1969 (though he recanted this confession three days later).
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Martin Luther King's tomb now with his wife Coretta Scott King.
On the advice of his attorney Percy Foreman, Ray took a guilty plea to avoid a trial conviction and thus the possibility of receiving the death penalty. Ray was sentenced to a 99-year prison term.

Ray fired Foreman as his attorney (from then on derisively calling him "Percy Fourflusher") claiming that a man he met in Montreal, Canada with the alias "Raoul" was involved, as was his brother Johnny, but not himself, further asserting that although he did not "personally shoot King," he may have been "partially responsible without knowing it," hinting at a conspiracy. He spent the remainder of his life attempting (unsuccessfully) to withdraw his guilty plea and secure the trial he never had.

On June 10, 1977, shortly after Ray had testified to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that he did not shoot King, he and six other convicts escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee. They were recaptured on June 13 and returned to prison.[26]

Allegations of conspiracy

Some have speculated that Ray had been used as a "patsy" similar to the way that alleged John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was supposed to have been. Some of the claims used to support this assertion are:
  • Ray's confession was given under pressure, and he had been threatened with death penalty.[27][28]
  • Ray was a thief and burglar and had no record of committing violent crimes with a weapon.[29]
Many suspecting a conspiracy in the assassination point out the two separate ballistic tests conducted on the Remington Gamemaster had neither conclusively proved Ray had been the killer nor that it had even been the murder weapon.[30][31] Moreover, witnesses surrounding King at the moment of his death say the shot came from another location, from behind thick shrubbery near the rooming house, not from the rooming house, shrubbery which had been inexplicably cut away in the days following the assassination.[32]
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Martin Luther King's tomb, located on the grounds of the King Center
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Martin Luther King's & Coretta Scott King's tomb, located on the grounds of the King Center

Recent developments

In 1997, Martin Luther King's son Dexter King met with Ray, and publicly supported Ray's efforts to obtain a retrial.[33]

In 1999, Coretta Scott King, King's widow, along with the rest of King's family, won a wrongful death civil trial against Loyd Jowers and "other unknown co-conspirators". Jowers claimed to have received $100,000 to arrange King's assassination. The jury of six whites and six blacks found Jowers guilty and that "governmental agencies were parties" to the assassination plot.[34] William F. Pepper represented the King family in the trial.[35][36][37]

King biographer David Garrow disagrees with William F. Pepper's claims that the government killed King. He is supported by King assassination author Gerald Posner.[38]

In 2000, the Department of Justice completed the investigation about Jowers' claims but did not find evidence to support the allegations about conspiracy. The investigation report recommends no further investigation unless some new reliable facts are presented.[39]

On April 6, 2002, the New York Times reported a church minister, Rev. Ronald Denton Wilson, claimed his father, Henry Clay Wilson, — not James Earl Ray — assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. He stated, "It wasn't a racist thing; he thought Martin Luther King was connected with communism, and he wanted to get him out of the way."[40]

In 2004, Jesse Jackson, who was with King at the time of his death, noted:

Insert the text of the quote here, without quotation marks.

King and the FBI

King had a mutually antagonistic relationship with the FBI, especially its director, J. Edgar Hoover. Under written directives from Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the FBI began tracking King and the SCLC in 1961. Its investigations were largely superficial until 1962, when it learned that one of King's most trusted advisers was New York City lawyer Stanley Levison. The FBI found that Levison had been involved with the Communist Party USA—to which another key King lieutenant, Hunter Pitts O'Dell, was also linked by sworn testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The Bureau placed wiretaps on Levison and King's home and office phones, and bugged King's rooms in hotels as he traveled across the country. The Bureau also informed Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy, both of whom unsuccessfully tried to persuade King to dissociate himself from Levison. For his part, King adamantly denied having any connections to Communism, stating in a 1965 Playboy interview[6] that "there are as many Communists in this freedom movement as there are Eskimos in Florida"; to which Hoover responded by calling King "the most notorious liar in the country."

The attempt to prove that King was a Communist was in keeping with the feeling of many segregationists that blacks in the South were happy with their lot but had been stirred up by "communists" and "outside agitators." Lawyer-advisor Stanley D. Levinson did have ties with the Communist Party in various business dealings, but the FBI refused to believe its own intelligence bureau reports that Levinson was no longer associated in that capacity. Movement leaders countered that voter disenfranchisement, lack of education and employment opportunities, discrimination and vigilante violence were the reasons for the strength of the Civil Rights Movement, and that blacks had the intelligence and motivation to organize on their own.

Later, the focus of the Bureau's investigations shifted to attempting to discredit King through revelations regarding his private life. FBI surveillance of King, some of it since made public, attempted to demonstrate that he also engaged in numerous extramarital affairs. However, much of what was recorded was, as quoted by his attorney, speech-writer and close friend Clarence B. Jones, "midnight" talk or just two close friends joking around about women. Further remarks on King's lifestyle were made by several prominent officials, such as President Johnson who notoriously said that King was a “hypocrite preacher”.

However, in 1989, Ralph Abernathy, a close associate of King's in the civil right movement, stated in a book he authored that King was a womanizer. The book was titled And The Walls Came Tumbling Down, and was published by Harper & Row. The book was reviewed in the New York Times on October 29 1989, and the allegations of the sexual conduct of King were discussed in that review, were Abernathy says that he only wrote in the terms womanizing, and did not specifically say King did have extramarital sex.[41] Also, evidence indicating that King possibly engaged in sexual affairs is detailed by history professor David Garrow in his book Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, published in 1986 by William Morrow & Company; though it was not proven whether he agreed to have sex with a woman the night before his assassination.

The FBI distributed reports regarding such affairs to the executive branch, friendly reporters, potential coalition partners and funding sources of the SCLC, and King's family. The Bureau also sent anonymous letters to King threatening to reveal information if he did not cease his civil rights work. One anonymous letter sent to King just before he received the Nobel Peace Prize read, in part, "…The American public, the church organizations that have been helping—Protestants, Catholics and Jews will know you for what you are—an evil beast. So will others who have backed you. You are done. King, there, is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy fraudulent self is bared to the nation."[42] This statement is often interpreted as inviting King's suicide,[43] though William Sullivan argued that it may have only been intended to "convince King to resign from the SCLC."[44]

Finally, the Bureau's investigation shifted away from King's personal life to intelligence and counterintelligence work on the direction of the SCLC and the Black Power movement.

In January 31, 1977, in the cases of Bernard S. Lee v. Clarence M. Kelley, et al. and Southern Christian Leadership Conference v. Clarence M. Kelley, et al. United States District Judge John Lewis Smith, Jr., ordered all known copies of the recorded audiotapes and written transcripts resulting from the FBI's electronic surveillance of King between 1963 and 1968 to be held in the National Archives and sealed from public access until 2027.

Across from the Lorraine Motel, next to the rooming house in which James Earl Ray was staying, was a vacant fire station. The FBI was assigned to observe King during the appearance he was planning to make on the Lorraine Motel second-floor balcony later that day, and utilized the fire station as a makeshift base. Using papered-over windows with peepholes cut into them, the agents watched over the scene until Martin Luther King was shot. Immediately following the shooting, all six agents rushed out of the station and were the first people to administer first-aid to King. Their presence nearby has led to speculation that the FBI was involved in the assassination.

Awards and recognition

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From the Gallery of 20th century martyrs at Westminster Abbey. From left to right - Mother Elizabeth of Russia, Martin Luther King, Archbishop Oscar Romero, and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Besides winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, in 1965 the American Jewish Committee presented King with the American Liberties Medallion for his "exceptional advancement of the principles of human liberty." Reverend King said in his acceptance remarks, "Freedom is one thing. You have it all or you are not free."

As of 2006, more than 730 cities in the United States had streets named after King. King County, Washington rededicated its name in his honor in 1986, and changed its logo to an image of his face in 2007. The city government center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the only city hall in the United States to be named in honor of King.

In 1965 King was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award. It was named after a 1963 encyclical letter by Pope John XXIII that calls upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations. Pacem in Terris is Latin for 'Peace on Earth.'

In 1966, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America awarded King the Margaret Sanger Award for "his courageous resistance to bigotry and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity."[45]

King received The Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights, presented by the Jamaican Government, posthumously in 1968.

In 1971, King was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording for his Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.

In 1977, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to King by Jimmy Carter.[46]

King is the second most admired person in the 20th century, according to a Gallup poll.

King was voted 6th in the Person of the Century poll by TIME.[47]

King was elected the third Greatest American of all time by the American public in a contest conducted by the Discovery Channel and AOL.

Honorary degrees

Martin Luther King was awarded 20 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities in the United States and several foreign countries. They include:


In the 1980s, questions were raised regarding the authorship of King's dissertation, other papers, and his speeches. Concerns about his doctoral dissertation at Boston University led to a formal inquiry by university officials, which concluded that approximately a third of it had been plagiarized from a paper written by an earlier graduate student,[48] but it was decided not to revoke his degree, since the paper still "makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship." While some have criticized King for his plagiarism, Keith Miller has argued that the practice falls within the tradition of "African-American folk preaching", and should not necessarily be labeled plagiarism. However, as Theodore Pappas points out in his book Plagiarism and the Culture War, King in fact took a class on scholarly standards and plagiarism at Boston University.

Books by/about Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Stride toward freedom; the Montgomery story (1958)
  • The Measure of a Man (1959)
  • Strength to Love (1963)
  • Why We Can't Wait (1964)
  • Where do we go from here: Chaos or community? (1967)
  • The Trumpet of Conscience (1968)
  • A Testament of Hope : The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1986)
  • Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63 by Taylor Branch (1988)
  • Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by David Garrow (1989)
  • Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963–65 by Taylor Branch (1998)
  • The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King Jr. and Clayborne Carson (1998)
  • Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws that Changed America by Nick Kotz (2005)
  • At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965–68 by Taylor Branch (2006)
  • King Remembered by Flip Schulke and Penelope McPhee Forerword by Jesse Jackson(1986)

Spouse and Children

Spouse: Coretta Scott King



Enlarge picture
A mural in Kansas City, Missouri commemorating King's activism
King is one of the most widely revered figures in American history. Even posthumous accusations of marital infidelity and academic plagiarism have not seriously damaged his public reputation but merely reinforced the image of a very human hero and leader. It is true that King's movement faltered in the latter stages, after the great legislative victories were won by 1965 (The Voting Rights Act, and the Civil Rights Act). But even the sharp attacks by more militant blacks, and even such prominent critics as Muslim leader Malcolm X, have not diminished his stature. However, criticism did not consist of mere blind attacks. Stokely Carmichael was a separatist and disagreed with King's plea for integration because he considered it an insult to a uniquely African American culture and Omali Yeshitela urged Africans to remember the history of violent European colonization and how power was not secured by Europeans through integration, but by violence and force.[49] To then attempt to integrate with the colonizers' culture further insulted the original African cultures. Even the notion of decolonization was problematic for Frantz Fanon, an influential figure for black liberation movements. In Decolonizing, National Culture, and the Negro Intellectual (1961) he had this to say about the violent foundation on which colonizers claimed their names against the exploited and obstacles in making peace under such circumstances:

Decolonization is the meeting of two forces, opposed to each other by their very nature, which in fact owe their originality to the sort of substantification which results from and is nourished by the situation in the colonies. Their first encounter was marked by violence and their existence together—that is to say the exploitation of the native by the settler—was carried on by dint of a great array of bayonets and cannons… The naked truth of decolonization evokes for us the searing bullets and blood-stained knives which emanate from it. For if the last shall be first, this will only come to pass after a murderous and decisive struggle between the two protagonists. That affirmed intention to place the last at the head of things, and to make them climb at a pace (too quickly, some say) the well-known steps which characterize an organized society, can only triumph if we use all means to turn the scale, including, of course, that of violence.

On the international scene, King's legacy included influences on the Black Consciousness Movement and Civil Rights Movements in South Africa. King's work was cited by and served as an inspiration for another black Nobel Peace prize winner who fought for racial justice in that country, Albert Lutuli.

King's wife, Coretta Scott King, followed her husband's footsteps and was active in matters of social justice and civil rights until her death in 2006. The same year Martin Luther King was assassinated, Mrs. King established the King Center[50] in Atlanta, Georgia, dedicated to preserving his legacy and the work of championing nonviolent conflict resolution and tolerance worldwide. His son, Dexter King, currently serves as the center's president and CEO. Daughter Yolanda King is a motivational speaker, author and founder of Higher Ground Productions, an organization specializing in diversity training.
Enlarge picture
A statue of King located within Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama
King's name and legacy have often been invoked since his death as people have begun to debate where he would have stood on various modern political issues were he alive today. For example, there is some debate even within the King family as to where he would have stood on gay rights issues. King's widow Coretta has said publicly that she believes her husband would have supported gay rights, his daughter Bernice believes he would have been opposed to them.[51] The King Center lists homophobia as an evil that must be opposed.[52]

In 1980, King's boyhood home in Atlanta and several other nearby buildings were declared as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986, and is called Martin Luther King Day. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday. In January 17, 2000, for the first time, Martin Luther King Day was officially observed in all 50 U.S. states.[53]

In 1998, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was authorized by the United States Congress to establish a foundation to manage fund raising and design of a Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.[54] King was a prominent member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans. King will be the first African American honored with his own memorial in the National Mall area and the second non-President to be commemorated in such a way. The sculptor chosen was Lei Yixin. [55] The King Memorial will be administered by the National Park Service.

King is one of the ten 20th century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London. He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a renewer of society and martyr on January 15, and in the Calendar of saints of the Episcopal Church as a Civil Rights Leader on April 4.


1. ^ Top 100 American Speeches by Rank Order. American Rhetoric (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
2. ^ The King Center: Biography. The King Center (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
3. ^ Scott-King, Correta, My life with Martin Luther King Jr. (New York, 1969) pp.124–5
4. ^ Haley, Alex. "Martin Luther King", The Playboy Interview, Playboy, January 1965. Retrieved on 2006-09-17.Playboy&"> 
5. ^ Ross, Samuel (2006). March on Washington. Features. Infoplease. Retrieved on 2006-09-17.
6. ^ Haley, Alex. "Martin Luther King", The Playboy Interview, Playboy, January 1965. Retrieved on 2006-09-17.Playboy&"> 
7. ^ King (2000). Why We Can't Wait. Signet Classics. ISBN 0-451-52753-4. 
8. ^ Michael Lind, Vietnam: The Necessary War, 1999 p. 182.
9. ^ Guenter Lewey, America in Vietnam, 1978 pp. 444–5.
10. ^ Frogmore, South Carolina, November 14, 1966. Speech in front of his staff
11. ^ Coretta Scott King (ed.). Martin Luther King, Jr., Companion, p. 39. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.
12. ^ Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence American Rhetoric: Martin Luther King, Jr.
13. ^ Patterson, James T.. "An epic comes to a close", Chicago Sun-Times, January 29 2006, pp. B12. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.2006"> 
14. ^ Garrow, op.cit. p. 214
15. ^ 1,300 Members Participate in Memphis Garbage Strike. AFSCME (February , 1968). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
16. ^ Memphis Strikers Stand Firm. AFSCME (March , 1968). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
17. ^ Rugaber, Walter. "A Negro is Killed in Memphis", The New York Times, March 29 1968. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.1968"> 
18. ^ United States Department of Justice Investigation of Recent Allegations Regarding the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr - VII. KING V. JOWERS CONSPIRACY ALLEGATIONS (HTML). United States Department of Justice (June 2000). Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
19. ^ Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (HTML). Christian History Institute (March, 2007.). Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
20. ^ Branch, Taylor (2006). At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68 (America in the King Years). Simon & Schuster, page 766. ISBN 0684857138. 
21. ^ Lucas, Dean (February 11, 2007). Famous Pictures Magazine - Martin Luther King Jr Killed (HTML). Famous Pictures Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
22. ^ "1968: Martin Luther King shot dead", On this Day, BBC, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-09-17.BBC&"> 
23. ^ [2]
24. ^ AFSCME Wins in Memphis. AFSCME (April , 1968). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
25. ^ 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike Chronology. AFSCME (1968). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
26. ^ 1970s. History of Knoxville Office. FBI (2006). Retrieved on 2006-09-17.
27. ^ James Earl Ray Profile. (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
28. ^ The Martin Luther King Assassination. the Real History Archives (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
29. ^ "From small-time criminal to notorious assassin", US news, CNN, 1998. Retrieved on 2006-09-17.CNN&"> 
30. ^ "James Earl Ray Dead At 70", CBS, April 23 1998. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.CBS&"> 
31. ^ "Questions left hanging by James Earl Ray's death", BBC, April 23 1998. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.BBC&"> 
32. ^ Martin Luther King - Sniper in the Shrubbery?. (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
33. ^ "James Earl Ray, convicted King assassin, dies", US news, CNN, April 23, 1998. Retrieved on 2006-09-17.CNN&,%201998"> 
34. ^ Trial Transcript Volume XIV. verdict. The King Center (2006). Retrieved on 2007-03-24.
35. ^ Text of the King family's suit against Loyd Jowers and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "unknown" conspirators. Court TV (1999). Retrieved on 2006-09-17.
36. ^ Pepper, Bill (April 7, 2002). William F. Pepper on the MLK Conspiracy Trial. Rat Haus Reality Press. Retrieved on 2006-09-17.
37. ^ Trial Information. Complete Transcript of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination Conspiracy Trial. The King Center (2006). Retrieved on 2006-09-17.
38. ^ Ayton, Mel (February 28, 2005). Book review A Racial Crime: The Assassination of MLK. History News Network. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
39. ^ USDOJ Investigation of Recent Allegations Regarding the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Overview. USDOJ (June 2000). Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
40. ^ Canedy, Dana. "My father killed King, says pastor, 34 years on", The Sydney Morning Herald, April 6 2002. Retrieved on 2006-09-18. 
41. ^ And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, by Rev. Ralph David Abernathy
42. ^ MLK Suicide letter. (2006). Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
43. ^ Jalon, Allan M.. "A Break-In to End All Break-Ins", Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-09-18. 
44. ^ Church, Frank (April 23, 1976). Church Committee Book III. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Case Study. Church Committee. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
45. ^ The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. upon accepting The Planned Parenthood Federation Of America Margaret Sanger Award. PPFA (2006). Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
46. ^ Carter Center. Carter Center (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
47. ^ "The Person of the Century Poll Results", Time magazine, January 19 2000,. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.2000,"> 
48. ^ Martin Luther King. Snopes. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
49. ^ Abbreviated Report from the International Tribunal on Reparations for Black People in the U.S. - commentary from the African People's Socialist Party in the early 1980s
50. ^ The King Center. The King Center (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
51. ^ Williams, Brandt. "What would Martin Luther King do?", Minnesota Public Radio, January 16 2005. Retrieved on 2006-12-23.2005"> 
52. ^ The Triple Evils. The King Center (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23.
53. ^ "N.H. becomes last state to honor King with a holiday", The Florida Times Union, June 8, 1999, p. A-4.1999"> 
54. ^ Our Founding Jewels Alpha Phi Alpha
55. ^ "Choice of sculptor for Martin Luther King Jr. monument draws flak", Associated Press, 2007-08-21. Retrieved on 2007-08-21. “The selection of a Chinese sculptor to carve a three-story monument to Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall is raising questions about what part of his legacy should be celebrated. King promoted peace and understanding among all people. His primary fight, however, was to win particular opportunities for blacks in the United States by juxtaposing the plight of an oppressed people against a message of freedom and democracy. 
Martin Luther King Jr. was a worldwide religious figure.


  • Abernathy, Ralph. And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography. New York: Harper & Row, 1989. ISBN 0-06-016192-2
  • Beito, David and Beito, Linda Royster. T.R.M. Howard: Pragmatism over Strict Integrationist Ideology in the Mississippi Delta, 1942–1954 in Glenn Feldman, ed., Before Brown: Civil Rights and White Backlash in the Modern South. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2004, 68–95. ISBN 0-8173-5134-5.
  • Branch, Taylor. At Canaan's Edge: America In the King Years, 1965–1968. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. ISBN 0-684-85712-X
  • Carl Edwin Lindgren (Spring, 1992). Tour Resurrects Shantytown Art. Southern Exposure, Vol. XX, No. 1, 7. Information relating to Resurrection City and Dr. King.
  • Parting the Waters : America in the King Years, 1954–1963. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988. ISBN 0-671-46097-8
  • Pillar of Fire : America in the King Years, 1963–1965.: Simon & Schuster, 1998. ISBN 0-684-80819-6
  • Chernus, Ira. American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea, chapter 11. ISBN 1-57075-547-7
  • Garrow, David J. The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Penguin Books, 1981. ISBN 0-14-006486-9
  • Jackson, Thomas F., From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8122-3969-0.
  • Kirk, John A., Martin Luther King, Jr. London: Pearson Longman, 2005. ISBN 0-582-41431-8
  • Ayton, Mel, A Racial Crime: James Earl Ray And The Murder Of Martin Luther King Jr. Archebooks Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1-59507-075-3
  • Verhagen, Katherine. "Maritime King: African-American Rhetoric's Influence upon Africville." Wadabagei 11 (2005): 34-45.

External links

Video and audio material

Preceded by
SCLC President
Succeeded by
Ralph Abernathy
Preceded by
Pope John XXIII
Time's Man of the Year
Succeeded by
Lyndon Johnson

NAMEKing Jr., Martin Luther
SHORT DESCRIPTIONPolitical activist
DATE OF BIRTHJanuary 15, 1929
PLACE OF BIRTHAtlanta, Georgia
DATE OF DEATHApril 4, 1968
PLACE OF DEATHLorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee
Martin Luther King was the name of father and son Baptist ministers and three generations of social activists:
  • Martin Luther King, Sr. was a Baptist minister.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Moloch (originally "mlk" from Hebrew מלך), a god.
  • Mercedes-Benz MLK-Class, a car.
  • Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian minister who rose to prominence as the leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

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January 15 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


  • 588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign.

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1890s  1900s  1910s  - 1920s -  1930s  1940s  1950s
1926 1927 1928 - 1929 - 1930 1931 1932

Year 1929 (MCMXXIX
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April 4 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1930s  1940s  1950s  - 1960s -  1970s  1980s  1990s
1965 1966 1967 - 1968 - 1969 1970 1971

Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII
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January 15 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


  • 588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1890s  1900s  1910s  - 1920s -  1930s  1940s  1950s
1926 1927 1928 - 1929 - 1930 1931 1932

Year 1929 (MCMXXIX
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Atlanta, Georgia
Downtown Atlanta

Nickname: Hotlanta,[1] The A-T-L[1]
Location in Fulton and DeKalb counties and the state of Georgia
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State of Georgia

Flag of Georgia Seal of Georgia
Nickname(s): Peach State, Empire State of the South
Motto(s): Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation

Official language(s) English

Capital Atlanta

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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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March 4 was Inauguration Day for the President of the United States. Beginning in 1937, Inauguration Day has been January 20.


  • 51 - Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth).

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1930s  1940s  1950s  - 1960s -  1970s  1980s  1990s
1965 1966 1967 - 1968 - 1969 1970 1971

Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII
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Memphis, Tennessee

Nickname: The River City, The Bluff City
Location in Shelby County and the state of Tennessee
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State of Tennessee

Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Volunteer State
Motto(s): Agriculture and commerce

Official language(s) English

Capital Nashville
Largest city Memphis

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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) refers to the reform movements in the United States aimed at abolishing racial discrimination of African Americans; this article covers the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South.
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Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is an American civil rights organization. It played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.
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The Presidential Medal of Freedom is one of the two highest civilian awards in the United States and is bestowed by the President of the United States (the other award which is considered its equivalent is the Congressional Gold Medal, which is bestowed by an act of Congress).
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Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award which may be bestowed by the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the United States government. The decoration is awarded to an individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security,
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Location Washington, D.C., USA


Established pending

Governing body U.S. Dept. of Interior
The Martin Luther King Jr.
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January 15 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


  • 588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign.

..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1890s  1900s  1910s  - 1920s -  1930s  1940s  1950s
1926 1927 1928 - 1929 - 1930 1931 1932

Year 1929 (MCMXXIX
..... Click the link for more information.
April 4 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1930s  1940s  1950s  - 1960s -  1970s  1980s  1990s
1965 1966 1967 - 1968 - 1969 1970 1971

Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII
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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
..... Click the link for more information.
African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) refers to the reform movements in the United States aimed at abolishing racial discrimination of African Americans; this article covers the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South.
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Progressive National Baptist Convention

Classification Protestant
Orientation Progressive Baptist
Polity Congregationalist
Origin 1961: Cincinnati, Ohio
Separated from National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
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Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and social protest campaign started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, intended to oppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system.
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