Teaching with Stamps: Primary resources for teaching America’s history and heritage.
@ 01/19/15 in Blog
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta. His father was a pastor and his mother was a school teacher.
- Martin went to school to study medicine and law, but was swayed to join the ministry at the urging of his school’s president, Dr. Benjamin Mays. At Crozer Theological Seminary, he became president of his predominantly white senior class. He is called “Dr. King” because he earned a doctorate of systematic theology at Boston University.
- At BU, Dr. King met his future wife, Coretta Scott. They wed, settled in Montgomery, Alabama, and had four children: Yolanda, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice.
- Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King became a national icon of nonviolent protest. He formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.
- After Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus, Dr. King became the leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956.
- Dr. King traveled all over America and the world preaching about tolerance. One of his trips was to India, where he got to meet his idol, Gandhi.
- Dr. King encouraged people to protest bravely but without violence. During his Birmingham Campaign, he was arrested on April 12, 1963. He wrote “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” an important essay about civil disobedience.
- Later in 1963 Dr. King organized the March on Washington with many other civil rights leaders. Attended by entertainers, politicians, and some 200-300,000 activists, it was the pivotal moment of the Civil Rights Movement. It was there he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
- Dr. King was well-respected. He became Time’s Man of the Year in 1963 and in 1964 earned the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Dr. King was tragically assassinated on April 4, 1968, at his motel in Memphis. Riots broke out in cities everywhere, while President Johnson called for a national day of mourning.
- 11. Dr. King is the only person to be individually recognized with a federal holiday. He is also the first African American to have a personal monument commissioned on or near the National Mall.