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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 05, 2017

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on the third Monday of every January and there are a lot of reasons why a holiday was named after this guy. Here's a look into the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2017 MLK Day is January 16th.

Martin Luther King, Jr : The Early Years

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. His dad was the minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Church and his grandfather was the pastor there before that. Martin Luther King, Jr. was taught by his parents to treat everyone with respect, regardless of race. His dad firmly believed that African-Americans should have the right to vote, which they didn't have at the time.

Martin Luther King Jr. leads the March on WashingtonMartin Luther King Jr. leads the March on Washington

Martin Luther King, Jr : Finding His Voice

Martin Luther King Jr. decided to follow in his dad's footsteps when he went to college. In 1954, Martin received his PhD and became known as Dr. King. He accepted a job as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama and organized non-violent protests against the mistreatment of African-Americans. Martin Luther King, Jr. was always peaceful and reminded his many followers that their fight would be victorious if there was no bloodshed.

Martin Luther King Jr. waves to participants in the Civil Rights Movement's MarchMartin Luther King Jr. waves to participants in the Civil Rights Movement's March

Martin Luther King, Jr : I Have a Dream

On August 28, 1963, 200,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. It was a peaceful protest for laws to guarantee every American equal civil rights. The march was one of the largest groups of protesters Washington had ever seen. Even more amazing was the fact that there was no violence. During this march, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. One year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. That same year, King was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Martin Luther King Jr. leading the marchMartin Luther King Jr. leading the march

Martin Luther King, Jr : Assassination

Dr. King traveled across America, organizing marches, speaking about world peace and supporting civil rights. In April 1968, he went to Memphis, Tennessee to support sanitation workers who were on strike. On April 3rd, Dr. King gave his last speech. The following day, as he was leaving his hotel room, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed. James Earl Ray was convicted of murdering Martin Luther King Jr., although some members of King's family believe the US government may have been involved in his death. In 1986, Martin Luther King Day officially became a federal holiday in the United States.

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