Martin Luther King Day: Everything You Should Know

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday in the United States that falls on the third Monday in January in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, a baptist minister, led the way of non-violence in to fight against racism. He has been an integral part of American mythology even before his birthday became a national holiday.

There are so many people he helped; many minorities and families lived their best life at that time.

Martin Luther King Jr was a great leader and a celebrated hero, not just for minorities or for the concrete legislation that he began but also for hope and dreams for many at that time.

Here we learn more about him, his achievements, and how Martin Luther King Day is celebrated.

Early Life Of Martin Luther King Facts

Martin Luther King Jr was the first person to get his birthday nationwide observed as a national holiday early in 1986.

He was a Baptist minister who promoted and preached the way of non-violence to fight against racial segregation and end it from society for good.

MLK’s first arrival to national prominence was at the time when African Americans boycotted buses in Montogomery, Alabama, in 1955.

At that time, he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference after two years, leading the grand march in Washington in 1963.

He was to become the most influential African American civil rights leader on the verge of racism in the time of the 1960s.

Martin Luther King Day became instrumental in the civil right act of 1964, which is about criminalizing discrimination lawfully in the public setting.

Facts About Martin Luther King Jr Childhood

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in a family based in Atlanta, Georgia. Young Martin lived with his parents named, Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King, along with his grandparents and two siblings, Christine and Alfred.

All of the King children used to take piano lessons from their mother. King’s siblings are also into sports like baseball and football and quite different kinds of odd jobs.

Martin himself was a paper boy in his early teen. And at that age, he wanted to become a fireman after growing up.

The father of Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and looked over the children’s religious and moral education.

Here Is a list of Martin Luther King jr childhood facts everyone should know:

  • His father, Michael King Sr., changed both of their names to Martin Luther in honour of the German Protestant leader. He was born Michael King Jr.

  • King’s mother was a schoolteacher.

  • King was an intelligent child and skipped two grades in high school.

  • King was deeply religious from a young age and decided to become a minister at the age of 15.

  • He graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 with a degree in sociology.

  • He then attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he earned a divinity degree in 1951.

  • King was ordained as a Baptist minister in February 1948.

  • King married Coretta Scott in 1953 and they had four children together.

  • King was an advocate for nonviolence and civil rights from a young age.

  • He was heavily influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and the African American church.

  • After Rosa Parks had been detained for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, King assisted in organising the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama in 1955.

  • King was arrested multiple times for his activism, and his home was bombed in 1956.
  • During the march, King gave his well-known “I Have a Dream” address, which is regarded as one of the most memorable speeches in USA history.
  • King’s peaceful opposition against racial injustice earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
  • James Earl Ray killed him on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • His death led to nationwide mourning and riots in many cities, and Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 in his honor.
martin luther king jr rare photos

Young Martin Luther King Jr. Finding Out About Racism And The Black Experience in America

Martin, in his childhood, only found out how black and white people are treated differently from each other in certain parts of America.

He becomes aware of the discrimination against black people at different levels and how it exists deeply within people at that time.

And it was quite evident in public places or any other facilities. He used to see that if a black family wanted to go for dinner in a restaurant, they had to sit in a different section that was isolated for them.

The same happens when they go to the movie theatre as they would sit in the back of the theatre, and even there used to be separate restrooms for them in public places.

But such things were beyond understanding for young Martin at that time. There were laws in place to keep black people away from white people, known as Jim Crow laws.

One day, Martin and his father decided to buy a new pair of shoes, so they went to a shoe store but were stopped and told to go to the back of the store.

They said that they do not serve colored individuals in the front of the store. Martin’s father didn’t buy shoes from that store as they weren’t treated respectfully.

This called for the mother’s lesson to young Martin as she said, “even though some people make you feel bad or angry, you should not show it. You are as good as anyone else.”

Dr Martin Luther King Education

When he was only five, he started his school at Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta. Apparently, this was the case when the legal school entrance age was six, so he wasn’t eligible to enroll until he turned six years old.

After schooling at Yonge Street Elementary School, he went for David T. Howard Elementary school. Later Martin attended Atlanta University Laboratory School and also Booker T. Washington High School.

He was so good at his studies and scored so high in his college entrance exam at Booker high school that he didn’t even have to finish high school formally. He got to go to college while his classmates were still doing high school.

Martin Luther King Jr. Death

Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, after which his death was called for a national holiday to honor him.

The assassination shook the nation, leading to riots in more than one hundred American cities.

At that time, the white-controlled media almost sanctified MLK at that time which, in a way, the coverage became a success as the matter had been neglected for years.

Starting right after two years, in 1970, various states and cities also declared a public holiday on Martin Luther King’s honor on his birthday, i.e., January 15.

However, federal holiday legislation was introduced way back in 1968, only where it was stopped by sufficient opposition on the grounds of matters of race and politics.

But in 1983, it got passed further as the legislation announced the third Monday of January as a federal holiday. And the first nationwide observance on Martin Luther King Day was in the year 1986.

So, Martin Luther King Day is known for celebrating with parades, marches, and speeches by political and civil rights leaders.

Similar Posts: