Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

On the night of January 27, 1956, when he was just 27 years old, Martin Luther King Jr. received a threatening phone call that would cause his life to change forever.

A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I&rsquoll rise.

Fragment from 'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou

There comes a time when a people will no longer be held down. Historians have speculated as to the confluence of circumstances that led to the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s. Some say it was a response to the similarities between what was happening to blacks in the South and what we had fought against in WWII - how could we allow one and be against the other? Others say the advent of television, and the ability to see people being hosed by police on the nightly news, made it somehow more real than it had previously been. This argument has been brought back out in our own time with the repeated cell phone videos of black men being shot by cops. In truth, all of these factors and more contributed to the climate and ensured that a change was going to occur. Blacks were no longer going to accept separate and unequal. And while many in the South were reluctant to see their way of life change, there were those who were ready to see a change - whether they came in via bus from other parts of the country or sat bravely with friends at the lunch counter, or marched with others and faced arrest - there were people who stood up to authorities and defended what they knew was right.

Lives were lost in the fight for civil rights. Emmett Till was lynched in 1955 while visiting relatives in Mississippi because he reportedly flirted with a white woman - he was 14 years old. His killers walked away, having been acquitted and then admitted in a magazine interview that they killed him. Medgar Evers was shot in his own driveway - it took almost 30 years for a jury to convict his killer. Addie Mae Collins (age 14), Carol Denise McNair (age 11), Carole Robertson (age 14), and Cynthia Wesley (age 14), were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Four people died while involved in the Selma marches. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Non-violent demonstrations don't always end in non-violent results. And sometimes the victims of protests have nothing to do with the protesters themselves. Change doesn't come easily and it doesn't come without a cost.

As time went on, civil rights groups found themselves splintering into different factions over how to handle the issues they faced. Some wanted to take bolder stances and a more proactive approach. And even when a bolder approach was taken, there were still losses - Malcolm X and Fred Hampton both stand out as significant losses to the cause. Others continued to follow King's methods even after he was gone. In-fighting within an ideology or political party isn't a new concept but we can learn from the obstacles that civil rights groups faced in the 1960s.

Under Martin Luther King Jr's leadership the black Civil Rights Movement made incredible strides towards bringing equality for all Americans regardless of race. This great man lead his numerous followers in nonviolent resistance to discrimination using the power of words as few in history have ever done before or since. He is widely considered the most important and famous man in black history and one of the greatest leaders in world history.

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On this page you will find a list of facts about this famous man. Information will include why he is considered the greatest leader in black history, how he became so famous, where he gave some of his greatest speeches, and how Martin Luther King Jr. effected the black civil rights movement. This information should be helpful for kids writing Black History Month papers and for adults interested in learning more about this famous man.

A Great Leader is Born

A young boy grows up in a time of segregation…A dreamer is moved by destiny into leadership of the modern civil rights movement…This was Martin Luther King, Jr. Come hear his story, visit the home of his birth, and where he played as a child. Walk in his footsteps, and hear his voice in the church where he moved hearts and minds. Marvel at how he was an instrument for social change.

Atlanta's Top Tourist Destination

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park attracts large numbers of national and international visitors.

Birth Home of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Park Rangers provide guided tours of the Birth Home daily and provide visitors with historical facts. (TOURS ARE NOW SUSPENDED)

List of streets named after Martin Luther King Jr.

Streets named after Martin Luther King Jr. can be found in many cities of the United States and in nearly every major metropolis. There are also a number of other countries that have honored Martin Luther King Jr., including Italy and Israel. The first street in the United States named in his honor was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Chicago in 1968. [1] The number of streets named after King is increasing every year, and about 70% of these streets are in states which were members of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas. King's home state of Georgia had the most, with 75 streets as of 2001 [2] this had increased to 105 as of 2006. [3]

As of 2003, there were over 600 American cities that had named a street after King. [2] By 2004, this number had grown to 650, according to NPR. [4] In 2006, Derek Alderman, a cultural geographer at East Carolina University, reported the number had increased to 730, with only 10 states in the country without a street named after King (Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont). [3] In 2014 he estimated that there were over 900 streets named after King in 41 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. [5]

Fifteen cities have freeways named after Dr. King: Staten Island, New York Jacksonville Florida Norfolk, Virginia Fayetteville, North Carolina Tupelo, Mississippi Louisville, Kentucky Memphis, Tennessee Akron, Ohio Tulsa, Oklahoma Fort Worth, Texas Colorado Springs, Colorado San Diego, California Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Bucks County) Camden, New Jersey and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The following is a list of streets named after King in the United States.


Born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in an era of racial prejudices and legalized segregation that would influence his life's work. As a religious minister and activist, he rose to become a national leader in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. Dr. King sought to maintain an "abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind." Although most widely known for his leading role in the African American civil rights movement, Dr. King was a tireless advocate for the nation's working class and the oppressed around the world. His life tragically ended when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, but his legacy continues to inspire Americans today.

The Stride Towards Freedom

A greater nation… A finer world.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial honors a man of conscience the freedom movement of which he was a beacon and his message of freedom, equality, justice and love. It is the first on the National Mall devoted, not to a United States President or war hero, but a citizen activist for civil rights and peace. Dr. King, an African-American, brings "the image of America… the melting pot of the world" to the National Mall, but his message was universal. His non-violent philosophy pushed insistently towards the goal of the American Experiment—universal freedom and equality. His principled rhetoric illuminated the nation's journey. With his life under constant threat, his last public talk left us this inspiration: "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."

The Measure of a Man

Michael (later Martin) Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born in the segregated south of Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating Morehouse College (B.A. Sociology), Crozer Theological Seminary (B. Divinity) and Boston University (D. Systematic Theology, 1955) he entered the Christian ministry. He married the perfect partner, Coretta Scott, in 1953 and took a pastorate in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1954, where he joined the leadership of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Montgomery Improvement Association, and served in the creation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was architect of the non-violent strategy for a "Negro" bus boycott protesting the city's arrest of Rosa Parks for sitting in a seat reserved for "Whites." He asked his people, "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating…to endure the ordeals of jail?" The answer was yes. The "Montgomery Movement" led to the integration of the city's buses and lit a contagious interracial fight for rights that spread to Washington, DC, and across the world. Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, but he didn't rest on his laurels.

The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s followed southern-state defiance of the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision (1954) ruling that segregation was unconstitutional. Dr. King dove in and supported it without reserve: He assumed leading roles in Montgomery (1955) the Crusade for Voting Rights (his first speech at Lincoln Memorial, 1957) the Atlanta restaurant sit-in (1960) the intercity Freedom Riders and Albany (Georgia) Movement (1961) Birmingham Campaign (1963) the Children's Crusade for "freedom now" so their parents could see freedom before they died (1963) the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, from which his "I Have a Dream" still resounds (1963) St. Augustine, Florida, and Mississippi (1964) the Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery (1965) the Chicago drive against slums and poverty (1965) the "Meredith Mississippi March against Fear" (1966) and more. Frivolous arrests repeatedly landed him in jail and attracted Federal-authority attention to injustices to African Americans. Montgomery led to the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and 1960 Birmingham, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which Dr. King was present to see President Johnson sign Selma, to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1967, expanding his message of peace, Dr. King spoke out against the Vietnam conflict (1959-1975), then at its height in casualties.

The Message

An inescapable network of mutuality.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message was both American and universal. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963) he cut to the quick of the freedom fighter’s disappointment in an America defying its ideals: “There can be no deep disappointment where there is no deep love.” However, he looked to an entire world in peace and a universal brotherhood: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He saw the wide swath of the “arc of the moral universe:” Ancient-world forgers of self government, Augustus of a Republican Pax Romana, enlightened philosophers who imagined Utopia, nonconformists of the 16th and 17th centuries who defied religious intolerance, Mahatma Gandhi, allies of WWII, Eastern Block dissidents of the Velvet Revolutions of 1989. He saw with crystal clarity the role of America within that arc: American Revolutionary-War heroes, 600,000 Civil-War dead, Civil Rights Movement Freedom Fighters, Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and others in a journey still in progress. He saw Henry David Thoreau’s civil disobedience and Gandhi’s non-violent resistance as the best ways to achieve the goal of the American Experiment, and do-nothings as the greatest obstacle. His example compels us to pull our pound.

Although we want to go back to the History of Soccer, we must bear in mind that its roots and rules were not typical of the sport we know today.

Being Xeng-T emperor, in the 5th century, he forced the soldiers to play a ball game known as Tsú-Shú meaning Tsú: kick and Shú: ball.

In the 2nd century b.C. in China, a game was held that consisted of disputing the ball vigorously with the rivals, and then, with the use of the feet and hands, passing the ball over a cord held by two posts, which today we know as “goal.”

In these times it is when the raw leather is wrapped in several roots giving birth to the leather ball. Its inventor was FU-HI. It was used in the Chinese dynasty then, as training in the military fields. Even when a soldier violated the code, he was forced to dominate the ball without dropping it, if so, his punishment was dropped.

A century later, in Egypt, the ball game is performed as a fertility ritual. This game is adopted by its neighboring towns India and Persia, obtaining the ball as the object of the game.

We can also find in America how the Aztecs practiced for years the game called Tlachitli, which was a mix between tennis, football and basketball. In the game the use of the hands was prohibited and the losing team captain was sacrificed as part of the game.

In 1855 Charles Goodyear built and patented the first soccer ball which consisted of a rudimentary vulcanized rubber ball.

However, if we want to talk about the History of Soccer per se, we should talk about how the Football Association was founded in England in 1863, thus being the first governing body of that sport. Stipulating from there the rules and style of play of what is today the most famous sport in the world.

In the year of 1900, Soccer is included in the Olympic Games and recognized as such. Later in 1902 Argentina and Uruguay meet in the first International match outside the British Isles.

In 1904, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was founded in Paris, France. Who from that moment was dedicated to regulate and organize the meetings worldwide.


The closure of Martin Luther King Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in 2007, due to revocation of federal funding after the hospital failed a comprehensive review by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, had immediate ramifications in the South Los Angeles area, which was left without a major hospital providing indigent care. [7] [8]

In 2009, the County of Los Angeles successfully negotiated with the University of California to reach a compromise, whereby the county would provide funding for construction of a replacement hospital, and the UC system would provide physician staffing. [8] A nonprofit foundation, the Martin Luther King Jr. – Los Angeles Healthcare Corporation, was established to administer the hospital. [8]

The hospital is administered by Martin Luther King Jr. – Los Angeles Healthcare Corporation (MLK-LA), a private nonprofit organization. [2] The County of Los Angeles provided the capital funds for construction, and the University of California, Los Angeles healthcare system provides professional services and staffing. [2]

In August 2012, MLK-LA's Board appointed Elaine Batchlor, a physician and former chief medical officer for L.A. Care Health Plan, as the hospital's first chief executive officer. [9] [10]

The hospital provides general acute care, basic emergency services, labor and delivery services, health education and outreach programs, along with other services typically provided by community hospitals, including radiology, laboratory, and blood bank services. [2]

The hospital serves a low income community where almost all the residents are African American and Latino. South LA has the lowest number of hospital beds per 100,000 people of any area in Los Angeles County. As a low-income community, the main system of funding healthcare is Medicaid, which in California pays providers very low rates. [11]

The hospital has walking distance access to the Metro A Line and Metro C Line stations, as well as Gardena Transit and LADOT DASH buses.

Martin Luther King Jr.&aposs Life in Photos

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." 

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." 

—Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

“The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent. We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking.” 

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967

� a bush if you can&apost be a tree. If you can&apost be a highway, just be a trail. If you can&apost be a sun, be a star. For it isn&apost by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” 

—Speech before a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, October 26, 1967

𠇏or when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.” 

—“I&aposve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968

𠇊ll we say to America is, � true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn&apost committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.” 

—“I&aposve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968

"We&aposve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn&apost matter with me now because I&aposve been to the mountaintop. I&aposve looked over and I&aposve 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." 

—“I&aposve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

One of the most visible advocates of nonviolence and direct action as methods of social change, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. As the grandson of the Rev. A.D. Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church and a founder of Atlanta’s NAACP chapter, and the son of Martin Luther King, Sr., who succeeded Williams as Ebenezer’s pastor, King’s roots were in the African American Baptist church. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, King went on to study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Boston University in Massachusetts, where he deepened his understanding of theological scholarship and explored Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent strategy for social change.

King married Coretta Scott in 1953, and the following year he accepted the pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King received his Ph.D. in systematic theology in 1955.

On December 5, 1955, after civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to comply with Montgomery’s segregation policy on buses, black residents launched a bus boycott and elected King president of the newly-formed Montgomery Improvement Association. The boycott continued throughout 1956 and King gained national prominence for his role in the campaign. In December 1956 the United States Supreme Court declared Alabama’s segregation laws unconstitutional and Montgomery buses were desegregated.

Seeking to build upon the success in Montgomery, King and other southern black ministers founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta in 1957. In 1959, King toured India and further developed his understanding of Gandhian nonviolent strategies. Later that year, King resigned from Dexter and returned to Atlanta to become co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father.

In 1960, black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina initiated a wave of sit-in protests that led to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). King supported the student movement and expressed an interest in creating a youth arm of the SCLC. Student activists admired King, but they were critical of his top-down leadership style and were determined to maintain their autonomy. As an advisor to SNCC, Ella Baker, who had previously served as associate director of SCLC, made clear to representatives from other civil rights organizations that SNCC was to remain a student-led organization. The 1961 “Freedom Rides” heightened tensions between King and younger activists, as he faced criticism for his decision not to participate in the rides. Conflicts between SCLC and SNCC continued during the Albany (Georgia) Movement of 1961 and 1962.

In the spring of 1963, King and SCLC lead mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, where local white police officials were known for their violent opposition to integration. Clashes between unarmed black demonstrators and police armed with dogs and fire hoses generated newspaper headlines throughout the world. President Kennedy responded to the Birmingham protests by submitting broad civil rights legislation to Congress, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Subsequent mass demonstrations culminated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which more than 250,000 protesters gathered in Washington, D.C. It was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

King’s renown continued to grow as he became Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1963 and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway in 1964. However, along with the fame and accolades came conflict within the movement’s leadership. Malcolm X‘s message of self-defense and black nationalism resonated with northern, urban blacks more effectively than King’s call for nonviolence King also faced public criticism from “Black Power” proponent, Stokely Carmichael.

King’s efficacy was not only hindered by divisions among black leadership, but also by the increasing resistance he encountered from national political leaders. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director J. Edgar Hoover’s extensive efforts to undermine King’s leadership were intensified during 1967 as urban racial violence escalated, and King’s public criticism of U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War led to strained relations with Lyndon Johnson’s administration.

In late 1967, King initiated a Poor People’s Campaign designed to confront economic problems that had not been addressed by earlier civil rights reforms. The following year, while supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee he delivered his final address “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” The next day, April 4, 1968, King was assassinated in Memphis.

Dr. King was a member of both Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities. To this day, Dr. Martin Luther King remains a controversial symbol of the African American civil rights struggle, revered by many for his martyrdom on behalf of nonviolence and condemned by others for his militancy and insurgent views.

Watch the video: I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King.Jr HD subtitled