Martin Luther King Jr – I have a dream

Martin Luther King Jr is an American civil rights activist

Jan 15, 1929: Michael Luther King Jr. born is Atlanta, Georgia. Son of a Baptist minister, his mother is a schoolteacher. He is renamed Martin when he is about six years old.

1934-51: Educated at segregated schools in Georgia, eventually gaining a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.

Jun 18,1953: Marries Coretta Scott. They go on to have two sons and two daughters.

1955: Receives doctorate from Boston University.

1955: After Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, Dr King heads 381-day-long Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. King is arrested and his home bombed. Protest leads to Supreme Court ruling laws requiring segregated buses are unconstitutional.

1957: Co-founds Southern Christian Leadership Conference advocating non-violent struggle against racism.

1963: Dr king jailed during anti-segregation protest in Birmingham, Alabama. His Letter from Birmingham Jail argues that individuals have a moral duty to disobey unjust laws.

Aug 28, 1963: Organises March on Washington supporting President John F. Kennedy’s proposed civil rights legislation. Some 200,000 people listen as King delivers his famous I Have a Dream speech at Lincoln Memorial.

Oct 1963: FBI bugs King’s hotel rooms in bid to label him a communist – no link is ever established

Jul 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Civil Rights Act

Oct 1964: Dr King awarded Nobel Peace Prize

1965: U.S, Congress passes Voting Rights Act which outlaws practices such as literacy tests and poll tax which bar black citizens from voting in southern states. The Act is renewed in 1970, 1975, 1982, and most recently by President George W. Bush in 2006.

1966-67: Civil rights movement racialised by Black Power. Race riots in Wewark and Detroit shoch nation.

1967: King leads his first anti-Vietnam War march in Chicago

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King is shot dead as he stands on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee

Source: The Star Newspaper, 5 April 2008

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