Martin Luther KingMartin Luther King, Jr. stands apart from other men of his generation. He demonstrated wisdom, courage, strength and perseverance, as he led the civil rights movement in the United States from 1955 until his death in 1968. Dr. King chose the path of non-violence and led his millions of followers to do the same. They faced vicious dogs, fire hoses, billy-club-swinging deputies and many other forms of violence without retaliating.
Today, every American, black, white and all other shades of color, owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to this man. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister who, for a time, served as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. His life exemplifies many of the teachings of Jesus Christ and, indeed, of the whole Bible.
Some significant events in Dr. King's life:
1. In 1955, he received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University.
2. In 1995 – 1956, he led a massive effort to desegregate buses in Montgomery, Alabama.
3. In 1957, he helped found and became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
4. In 1963, he delivered his pivotal "I Have a Dream" speech before a massive crowd at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
5. In 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize and was also the first black American to be named as Time Magazine's Man of the Year.
6. From 1965 – 1968, he continued to lead the growing civil rights movement and saw many victories.
7. In 1968, he was assassinated at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dr. King was both highly intelligent and extremely articulate. This gave him the unique ability to make profound statements in a very significant and memorable way. Here are some of the more famous quotations from Dr. King:
- "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
- "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
- "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it."
- Dr. King skipped the 9th and 12th grades and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 15.
- Friends and family called Dr. King "M. L."
- He was the author of 6 books, including Stride Toward Freedom and Strength to Love. A book of his sermons was also published.
- Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, had four children: Yolanda Denise, Martin Luther III, Dexter Scott and Bernice Albertine.
- Dr. King was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He was 35 years old.
- His father was a Baptist preacher and his mother a schoolteacher.
Children need heroes. Adults need good examples. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. serves as both a hero and a good example.