It all started with a dream, like it always does. A dream for change and a dream for better tomorrow. Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist and a leader in the civil rights movement of USA. He was also a member of the clergy. He is known for the non-violent ways in which he advanced and led the civil rights movement. He fought for racial equality and showed the people a picture of a better future where all men are equal. Courage, perseverance and the will to fight for whats right till the very end made him a great leader. He won The Nobel Peace Prize.
9 Interesting Facts About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
1. His name was originally Michael, not Martin. His father was also Michael King, hence why Martin Luther King Jr. was originally named Michael King Jr. However, after a trip to Germany in 1931, Michael King Sr. changed his own name in homage to historic German theologian Martin Luther. Michael King Jr. was two years old at the time and King Sr. made the decision to change his son’s name to Martin Luther as well.
2. At the age of 12, he tried to commit suicide. It was May of 1941 when his grandmother passed away after a heart attack. At the time of this event, King Jr. was off disobeying his parents by going to watch a parade when they told him not to. When he came home and learned his grandmother had died, he went upstairs and jumped from the second story window of his house.
3. He almost didn’t become a minister. After graduating from college, he still had serious doubts about Christianity and the Bible and told his father (who was a Baptist minister, as his grandfather had also been) that he didn’t want to be a minister and instead was considering becoming a doctor or a lawyer. He later decided that the Bible had “many profound truths which one cannot escape” and chose to become a minister, entering seminary at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He graduated with his PhD at the age of 25.
4. King Jr. skipped two grades in high school, 9th and 11th, and entered college (Moorehouse College) at the tender age of 15 in 1944. By 19, he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
5. King is to date the youngest male to win a Nobel Peace Prize, winning it in 1964 at the age of 35 (at the time he was the youngest overall for the Peace Prize). The youngest ever to win the Peace prize today is Malala Yousafzai who won it in 2014 at the age of 17.
6. King won a Grammy and was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and a Medal of Freedom. The Medal of Freedom and the Gold Medal make sense, but how on Earth did he win a Grammy, you say? He won it in 1971 for Best Spoken Word Album for “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam”.
7. His house was once bombed. This was during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted a total of 385 days.
8. King Jr.’s autopsy revealed that stress had taken a major toll on his body. Despite being just 39 at the time of his death, one of the doctors noted that he had “the heart of a 60 year old”.
9. Today over 700 streets in the Unites States are named after Martin Luther King Jr., with one such street in almost every major city. This is not even counting the amazing number of buildings, schools, and the like named after him.
I’ll end this post with the following quote from the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on non-violent resistance:
Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace.