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Martin Luther King, Jr.: Welcome


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter."

   -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Welcome to the research guide devoted to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here you will find resources from the MSUB Library and the Internet to help you in your research of Dr. King. 

I have a dream...

Timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Life

January 15, 1929-Born at noon  to Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King in Atlanta, Georgia.

1944-Graduates from Booker T. Washington High School and admitted to Morehouse College at age 15.

Graduates from Morehouse College and enters Crozer Theological Seminary.  February 25, Ordained to the Baptist ministry at age 19.

-Enters Boston University for graduate studies.

1953-Marries Coretta Scott and settles in Montgomery, Alabama.

June 5,1955-Receives Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. Dissertation Title: A Comparison of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Wiseman. Joins the bus boycott after Rosa Parks is arrested on December 1. December 5, he is elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, making him the official spokesman for the boycott.

November 13, 1956-The Supreme Court rules that bus segregation is illegal, ensuring victory for the boycott.
1957-King forms the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to fight segregation and achieve civil rights. On May 17, Dr. King speaks to a crowd of 15,000 in Washington, D.C.

1958-The U.S. Congress passes the first Civil Rights Act since reconstruction. King's first book, Stride Toward Freedom, is published.
On a speaking tour, Martin Luther King, Jr. is nearly killed when stabbed by an assailant in Harlem. Met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, along with Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, and Lester Grange on problems affecting black Americans.

1959-Visits India to study Mohandas Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. He resigns from pastoring the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church to concentrate on civil rights full time. He moved to Atlanta to direct the activities of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

1960-Becomes co-pastor with his father at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Lunch counter sit-ins began in Greensboro, North Carolina. In Atlanta, King is arrested during a sit-in waiting to be served at a restaurant. He is sentenced to four months in jail, but after intervention by John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, he is released.

1961-In November, the Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation in interstate travel due to work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom Riders. Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) begins first Freedom Ride through the South, in a Greyhound bus, after the U.S. Supreme Court outlaws segregation in interstate transportation.

July 27,1962-During the unsuccessful Albany, Georgia movement, King is arrested and jailed.

April 12,1963-On Good Friday, King is arrested with Ralph Abernathy by Police Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor for demonstrating without a permit and jailed in Birmingham, Alabama. During the eleven days he spends in jail, MLK writes his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail

May 10, 1963- the Birmingham agreement is announced. The stores, restaurants, and schools will be desegregated, hiring of blacks implemented, and charges dropped. June 23, 1963- MLK leads 125,000 people on a Freedom Walk in Detroit. August 28, 1963-The March on Washington is the largest civil rights demonstration in history with nearly 250,000 people in attendance. At the march, King makes his famous I Have a Dream speech.

January 3, 1964-King appears on the cover of Time magazine as its Man of the Year.

July 2, 1964-King attends the signing ceremony of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the White House. During the summer, King experiences his first hurtful rejection by black people when he is stoned by Black Muslims in Harlem.

December 10, 1964-King is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King is the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Peace at age 35.

February 2,1965-King is arrested in Selma, Alabama during a voting rights demonstration. After President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law, Martin Luther King, Jr. turns to socioeconomic problems.

January 22, 1966-King moves into a Chicago slum tenement to attract attention to the living conditions of the poor. In June, King and others begin the March Against Fear through the South.

July 10, 1966- King initiates a campaign to end discrimination in housing, employment, and schools in Chicago.
1967-The Supreme Court upholds a conviction of MLK by a Birmingham court for demonstrating without a permit. King spends four days in Birmingham jail.

November 27, 1967-King announces the inception of the Poor People's Campaign focusing on jobs and freedom for the poor of all races.

1968-King announces that the Poor People's Campaign will culminate in a March on Washington demanding a $12 billion Economic Bill of Rights guaranteeing employment to the able-bodied, incomes to those unable to work, and an end to housing discrimination. Dr. King marches in support of sanitation workers on strike in Memphis, Tennessee.

March 28, 1968-King leads a march that turns violent. This was the first time one of his events had turned violent. Delivers I've Been to the Mountaintop speech.

April 4, 1968- Martin Luther King, Jr. is fatally shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. There are riots and disturbances in 130 American cities. There were twenty thousand arrests. King's funeral on April 9 is an international event.

November 2, 1986-A national holiday is proclaimed in King's honor. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday in January, around the time of King's birthday, January 15.

LSU Libraries, Mitchell Brown, Compiler