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Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs settle Nobel medal dispute …

By David Beasley | ATLANTA

ATLANTA Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs have agreed to end their legal fight over who owns the slain civil rights leader’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal, according to a court document filed on Monday that did not disclose if the item will be sold.

A trial to settle the years-long dispute had been set to start in Atlanta on Monday. It would have pitted King’s two sons against his surviving daughter, who were at odds over whether to sell the medal.

In a joint statement from the siblings, the family credited former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with guiding them to the confidential agreement.

The three siblings serve as directors of a corporation formed to manage the estate of King, who had no will when he was assassinated in 1968 at age 39 by a white supremacist in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King III and Dexter King voted in January 2014 to sell the medal and a Bible their father carried during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Bernice King objected to a sale, calling the heirlooms “sacred” to the family.

Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney had ordered the items to be kept in a court-controlled safe deposit box pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

The judge on Monday signed an order in which the parties asked for the suit to be dismissed and agreed the keys to the box should be given to Martin Luther King III, who serves as chairman of the estate board.

The judge said in court he did not know any further details of the settlement.

“While Bernice has always believed that the Peace Prize and Bible should not be sold, I am grateful that she has agreed not to stand in the way of the Estates decisions about how to handle the items,” Carter said in a statement.

“As in any mediation, compromises were required, and I am glad that the parties resolved the issues in the interest of the greater good and their parents legacy, the former president added.

Last month, McBurney ruled that the Bible, which Barack Obama, America’s first black president, used at his second inaugural in 2013, belonged to the estate.

(Editing by Alan Crosby and Peter Cooney)

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Martin Luther King Jr. > Quotes – Goodreads

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they cant stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes theyll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. Thats love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. Theres something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”) Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Martin Luther King Day in the United States

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

Martin Luther King Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.

Martin Luther King Day, also known as Martin Luther Kings birthday and Martin Luther King Jr Day, is combined with other days in different states. For example, it is combined with Civil Rights Day in Arizona and New Hampshire, while it is observed together with Human Rights Day in Idaho. It is also a day that is combined with Robert E. Lees birthday in some states. The day is known as Wyoming Equality Day in the state of Wyoming.

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday, but has slightly different names in some states. Non-essential Government departments are closed, as are many corporations. Some schools and colleges close but others stay open and teach their students about the life and work of Martin Luther King.

Small companies, such as grocery stores and restaurants tend to be open, although a growing number are choosing to close on this day. Some compensate by opening on Washington’s Birthday instead. Recent federal legislation encourages Americans to give some of their time on Martin Luther King Day as volunteers in citizen action groups. Public transit systems may or may not operate on their regular schedule.

Martin Luther King was an important civil rights activist. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States. His most famous address was the “I Have A Dream” speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968.

In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King died, a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. It was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single “Happy Birthday” and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000. In 1990, the Wyoming legislature designated Martin Luther King Jr/Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. | Biography & Facts | Britannica.com

Alternative titles: Michael Luther King, Jr.; MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.American religious leader and civil-rights activist

January 15, 1929

Atlanta, Georgia

April 4, 1968

Memphis, Tennessee

Martin Luther King, Jr., original name Michael King, Jr. (born January 15, 1929, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.died April 4, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee) Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. His leadership was fundamental to that movements success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. King rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the massive March on Washington (1963), to achieve civil rights. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

King came from a comfortable middle-class family steeped in the tradition of the Southern black ministry: both his father and maternal grandfather were Baptist preachers. His parents were college-educated, and Kings father had succeeded his father-in-law as pastor of the prestigious Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The family lived on Auburn Avenue, otherwise known as Sweet Auburn, the bustling black Wall Street, home to some of the countrys largest and most prosperous black businesses and black churches in the years before the civil rights movement. Young Martin received a solid education and grew up in a loving extended family.

This secure upbringing, however, did not prevent King from experiencing the prejudices then common in the South. He never forgot the time when, at about age six, one of his white playmates announced that his parents would no longer allow him to play with King, because the children were now attending segregated schools. Dearest to King in these early years was his maternal grandmother, whose death in 1941 left him shaken and unstable. Upset because he had learned of her fatal heart attack while attending a parade without his parents permission, the 12-year-old King attempted suicide by jumping from a second-story window.

In 1944, at age 15, King entered Morehouse College in Atlanta under a special wartime program intended to boost enrollment by admitting promising high-school students like King. Before beginning college, however, King spent the summer on a tobacco farm in Connecticut; it was his first extended stay away from home and his first substantial experience of race relations outside the segregated South. He was shocked by how peacefully the races mixed in the North. Negroes and whites go [to] the same church, he noted in a letter to his parents. I never [thought] that a person of my race could eat anywhere. This summer experience in the North only deepened Kings growing hatred of racial segregation.

At Morehouse, King favoured studies in medicine and law, but these were eclipsed in his senior year by a decision to enter the ministry, as his father had urged. Kings mentor at Morehouse was the college president, Benjamin Mays, a social gospel activist whose rich oratory and progressive ideas had left an indelible imprint on Kings father. Committed to fighting racial inequality, Mays accused the African American community of complacency in the face of oppression, and he prodded the black church into social action by criticizing its emphasis on the hereafter instead of the here and now; it was a call to service that was not lost on the teenage King. He graduated from Morehouse in 1948.

King spent the next three years at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he became acquainted with Mohandas Gandhis philosophy of nonviolence as well as with the thought of contemporary Protestant theologians. He earned a bachelor of divinity degree in 1951. Renowned for his oratorical skills, King was elected president of Crozers student body, which was composed almost exclusively of white students. As a professor at Crozer wrote in a letter of recommendation for King, The fact that with our student body largely Southern in constitution a colored man should be elected to and be popular [in] such a position is in itself no mean recommendation. From Crozer, King went to Boston University, where, in seeking a firm foundation for his own theological and ethical inclinations, he studied mans relationship to God and received a doctorate (1955) for a dissertation titled A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.

King, Martin Luther, Jr.; Montgomery, Alabama Bettmann/CorbisWhile in Boston, King met Coretta Scott, a native Alabamian who was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music. They were married in 1953 and had four children. King had been pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, slightly more than a year when the citys small group of civil rights advocates decided to contest racial segregation on that citys public bus system following the incident on December 1, 1955, in which Rosa Parks, an African American woman, had refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger and as a consequence was arrested for violating the citys segregation law. Activists formed the Montgomery Improvement Association to boycott the transit system and chose King as their leader. He had the advantage of being a young, well-trained man who was too new in town to have made enemies; he was generally respected, and it was thought that his family connections and professional standing would enable him to find another pastorate should the boycott fail.

In his first speech to the group as its president, King declared:

We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.

These words introduced to the country a fresh voice, a skillful rhetoric, an inspiring personality, and in time a dynamic new doctrine of civil struggle. Although Kings home was dynamited and his familys safety threatened, he continued to lead the boycott until, one year and a few weeks later, the citys buses were desegregated.

Recognizing the need for a mass movement to capitalize on the successful Montgomery action, King set about organizing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which gave him a base of operation throughout the South, as well as a national platform from which to speak. King lectured in all parts of the country and discussed race-related issues with religious and civil rights leaders at home and abroad. In February 1959 he and his party were warmly received by Indias Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and others; as the result of a brief discussion with followers of Gandhi about the Gandhian concepts of peaceful noncompliance (satyagraha), King became increasingly convinced that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. King also looked to Africa for inspiration. The liberation struggle in Africa has been the greatest single international influence on American Negro students, he wrote. Frequently I hear them say that if their African brothers can break the bonds of colonialism, surely the American Negro can break Jim Crow.

In 1960 King and his family moved to his native city of Atlanta, where he became co-pastor with his father of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. At this post he devoted most of his time to the SCLC and the civil rights movement, declaring that the psychological moment has come when a concentrated drive against injustice can bring great, tangible gains. His thesis was soon tested as he agreed to support the sit-in demonstrations undertaken by local black college students. In late October he was arrested with 33 young people protesting segregation at the lunch counter in an Atlanta department store. Charges were dropped, but King was sentenced to Reidsville State Prison Farm on the pretext that he had violated his probation on a minor traffic offense committed several months earlier. The case assumed national proportions, with widespread concern over his safety, outrage at Georgias flouting of legal forms, and the failure of Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower to intervene. King was released only upon the intercession of Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedyan action so widely publicized that it was felt to have contributed substantially to Kennedys slender election victory eight days later.

Johnson, Lyndon B.: meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr.Yoichi Okamoto/Lyndon B. Johnson Library PhotoIn the years from 1960 to 1965, Kings influence reached its zenith. Handsome, eloquent, and doggedly determined, King quickly caught the attention of the news media, particularly of the producers of that budding medium of social changetelevision. He understood the power of television to nationalize and internationalize the struggle for civil rights, and his well-publicized tactics of active nonviolence (sit-ins, protest marches) aroused the devoted allegiance of many African Americans and liberal whites in all parts of the country, as well as support from the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. But there were also notable failures, as in Albany, Georgia (196162), when King and his colleagues failed to achieve their desegregation goals for public parks and other facilities.

In Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963, Kings campaign to end segregation at lunch counters and in hiring practices drew nationwide attention when police turned dogs and fire hoses on the demonstrators. King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, including hundreds of schoolchildren. His supporters did not, however, include all the black clergy of Birmingham, and he was strongly opposed by some of the white clergy who had issued a statement urging African Americans not to support the demonstrations. From the Birmingham jail, King wrote a letter of great eloquence in which he spelled out his philosophy of nonviolence:

You may well ask: Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isnt negotiation a better path? You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.

I Have A Dream: King delivering his I Have a Dream speech in Washington, 1963Francis MillerTime Life Pictures/Getty ImagesNear the end of the Birmingham campaign, in an effort to draw together the multiple forces for peaceful change and to dramatize to the country and to the world the importance of solving the U.S. racial problem, King joined other civil rights leaders in organizing the historic March on Washington. On August 28, 1963, an interracial assembly of more than 200,000 gathered peaceably in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial to demand equal justice for all citizens under the law. Here the crowds were uplifted by the emotional strength and prophetic quality of Kings famous I Have a Dream speech, in which he emphasized his faith that all men, someday, would be brothers.

Johnson, Lyndon B.: signing the Civil Rights ActLyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum; photograph, Cecil StoughtonThe rising tide of civil rights agitation produced, as King had hoped, a strong effect on national opinion and resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities, as well as in employment. That eventful year was climaxed by the award to King of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in December. I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind, said King in his acceptance speech. I refuse to accept the idea that the isness of mans present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal oughtness that forever confronts him.

Martin Luther King, Jr.Bettmann/CorbisThe first signs of opposition to Kings tactics from within the civil rights movement surfaced during the March 1965 demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, which were aimed at dramatizing the need for a federal voting-rights law that would provide legal support for the enfranchisement of African Americans in the South. King organized an initial march from Selma to the state capitol building in Montgomery but did not lead it himself. The marchers were turned back by state troopers with nightsticks and tear gas. He was determined to lead a second march, despite an injunction by a federal court and efforts from Washington to persuade him to cancel it. Heading a procession of 1,500 marchers, black and white, he set out across Pettus Bridge outside Selma until the group came to a barricade of state troopers. But, instead of going on and forcing a confrontation, he led his followers to kneel in prayer and then unexpectedly turned back. This decision cost King the support of many young radicals who were already faulting him for being too cautious. The suspicion of an arrangement with federal and local authoritiesvigorously but not entirely convincingly deniedclung to the Selma affair. The country was nevertheless aroused, resulting in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Throughout the nation, impatience with the lack of greater substantive progress encouraged the growth of black militancy. Especially in the slums of the large Northern cities, Kings religious philosophy of nonviolence was increasingly questioned. The rioting in the Watts district of Los Angeles in August 1965 demonstrated the depth of unrest among urban African Americans. In an effort to meet the challenge of the ghetto, King and his forces initiated a drive against racial discrimination in Chicago at the beginning of the following year. The chief target was to be segregation in housing. After a spring and summer of rallies, marches, and demonstrations, an agreement was signed between the city and a coalition of African Americans, liberals, and labour organizations, calling for various measures to enforce the existing laws and regulations with respect to housing. But this agreement was to have little effect; the impression remained that Kings Chicago campaign was nullified partly because of the opposition of that citys powerful mayor, Richard J. Daley, and partly because of the unexpected complexities of Northern racism.

Malcolm X: Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (digital file no. 3d01847u)In Illinois and Mississippi alike, King was now being challenged and even publicly derided by young black-power enthusiasts. Whereas King stood for patience, middle-class respectability, and a measured approach to social change, the sharp-tongued, blue jean-clad young urban radicals stood for confrontation and immediate change. In the latters eyes, the suit-wearing, calm-spoken civil rights leader was irresponsibly passive and old beyond his years (King was in his 30s)more a member of the other side of the generation gap than their revolutionary leader. Malcolm X went so far as to call Kings tactics criminal: Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.

In the face of mounting criticism, King broadened his approach to include concerns other than racism. On April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City and again on the 15th at a mammoth peace rally in that city, he committed himself irrevocably to opposing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Once before, in early January 1966, he had condemned the war, but official outrage from Washington and strenuous opposition within the black community itself had caused him to relent. He next sought to widen his base by forming a coalition of the poor of all races that would address itself to economic problems such as poverty and unemployment. It was a version of populismseeking to enroll janitors, hospital workers, seasonal labourers, and the destitute of Appalachia, along with the student militants and pacifist intellectuals. His endeavours along these lines, however, did not engender much support in any segment of the population.

Meanwhile, the strain and changing dynamics of the civil rights movement had taken a toll on King, especially in the final months of his life. Im frankly tired of marching. Im tired of going to jail, he admitted in 1968. Living every day under the threat of death, I feel discouraged every now and then and feel my works in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.

riot: building in Washington, D.C., destroyed during riots following King assassinationLibrary of Congress, Washington, D.C. (digital file no. 03132u)Kings plans for a Poor Peoples March to Washington were interrupted in the spring of 1968 by a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of a strike by that citys sanitation workers. In the opinion of many of his followers and biographers, King seemed to sense his end was near. As King prophetically told a crowd at the Mason Temple Church in Memphis on April 3, the night before he died, Ive seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. The next day, while standing on the second-story balcony of the Lorraine Motel, where he and his associates were staying, King was killed by a snipers bullet. The killing sparked riots and disturbances in over 100 cities across the country. On March 10, 1969, the accused assassin, a white man, James Earl Ray, pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Ray later recanted his confession, claiming lawyers had coerced him into confessing and that he was the victim of a conspiracy. In a surprising turn of events, members of the King family eventually came to Rays defense. Kings son Dexter met with the reputed assassin in March 1997 and then publicly joined Rays plea for a reopening of his case. When Ray died on April 23, 1998, Coretta Scott King declared, America will never have the benefit of Mr. Rays trial, which would have produced new revelations about the assassinationas well as establish the facts concerning Mr. Rays innocence. Although the U.S. government conducted several investigations into the murder of King and each time concluded that Ray was the sole assassin, the killing remains a matter of controversy.

play_circle_outlineSocrates; King, Martin Luther, Jr.Courtesy of Northwestern University (A Britannica Publishing Partner)In the years after his death, King remained the most widely known African American leader of his era. His stature as a major historical figure was confirmed by the successful campaign to establish a national holiday in his honour in the United States and by the building of a King memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., near the Lincoln Memorial, the site of his famous I Have a Dream speech in 1963. Many states and municipalities have enacted King holidays, authorized public statues and paintings of him, and named streets, schools, and other entities for him. These efforts to honour King have focused more on his role as a civil rights advocate than on his controversial speeches, during his final year, condemning American intervention in Vietnam and calling for the Poor Peoples Campaign.

The King holiday campaign overcame forceful opposition, with critics citing FBI surveillance files suggesting that King was an adulterous radical influenced by communists. Although the release of these files during the 1970s under the Freedom of Information Act fueled the public debate over Kings legacy, the extensive archives that now exist document Kings life and thought and have informed numerous serious studies offering balanced and comprehensive perspectives. Two major books featuring KingDavid J. Garrows Bearing the Cross (1986) and Taylor Branchs Parting the Waters (1988)won Pulitzer Prizes. Subsequent books and articles reaffirmed Kings historical significance while portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible, and limited in his control over the mass movements with which he was associated, yet also a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.

Although the idea of a King national holiday did not gain significant congressional support until the late 1970s, efforts to commemorate Kings life began almost immediately after his assassination. In 1968 Rep. John Conyers of Michigan introduced a King holiday bill. The idea gradually began to attract political support once the newly formed Congressional Black Caucus included the holiday in its reform agenda. Coretta Scott King also played a central role in building popular support for the King holiday campaign while serving as founding president of the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change (later renamed the King Center), which became one of the major archives of Kings papers.

Despite the overall conservative trend in American politics in the 1980s, which might have been expected to work against recognition of the efforts of a controversial activist, King holiday advocates gained political support by portraying him as a symbol of the countrys progress in race relations. Musician Stevie Wonder contributed to the campaign by writing and recording Happy Birthday, a popular tribute to King. In 1983 Coretta Scott King and Stevie Wonder participated in the 20th Anniversary March on Washington, which drew a bigger crowd than the original march.

After the House and the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of the King holiday bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy, Pres. Ronald Reagan put aside his initial doubts and signed the legislation on November 3, 1983, establishing Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, to be celebrated annually on the third Monday in January. Coretta Scott King also succeeded in gaining congressional approval to establish a King Federal Holiday Commission to plan annual celebrations, beginning January 20, 1986, that would encourage Americans to reflect on the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by Dr. King.

Celebration of the King national holiday did not end contention over Kings legacy, but his status as an American icon became more widely accepted over time. The revelation during the early 1990s that King had plagiarized some of his academic writings and the occasional controversies involving his heirs did little to undermine recognition of Kings enduring impact on the country. Even before the first King national holiday, members of Kings fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, had proposed a permanent memorial in Washington, D.C. By the end of the 20th century, that proposal had secured governmental approval for the site on the Tidal Basin, near the Mall. In 2000 an international design competition ended with the selection of a proposal by ROMA Design Group. To build and maintain the memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation eventually raised more than $100 million. Commemorations of Kings life were also held in other countries, and in 2009 a congressional delegation traveled to India to mark the 50th anniversary of Kings pilgrimage to what he called the Land of Gandhi.

As with the lives of other major historical figures, Kings life has been interpreted in new ways by successive generations of scholars, many of whom have drawn attention to the crucial role of local black leaders in the African American protest movements of the 1950s and 60s. Recognizing that grassroots activists such as Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others prepared the way for Kings rise to national prominence, biographers and historians have questioned the view that Southern black protest movements relied on Kings charismatic guidance. Nonetheless, studies of King continue to acknowledge his distinctive leadership role. For example, though he often downplayed his contribution to the Montgomery bus boycott, Kings inspirational leadership and his speeches helped to transform a local protest over bus seating into a historically important event. More generally, studies of King have suggested that his most significant contribution to the modern African American freedom struggle was to link black aspirations to transcendent, widely shared democratic and Christian ideals. While helping grassroots leaders mobilize African Americans for sustained mass struggles, he inspired participants to believe that their cause was just and consistent with traditional American egalitarian values. King also appealed to the consciences of all Americans, thus building popular support for civil rights reform. His strategy of emphasizing nonviolent protest and interracial cooperation enabled him to fight effectively against the Southern system of legalized racial segregation and discrimination, but it also proved inadequate during his final years as he sought to overcome racial and economic problems that were national in scope.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes (Author of The Autobiography of …

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they cant stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes theyll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. Thats love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. Theres something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”) Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Biographical Sketch – Martin Luther King, Jr. – Research …

Birth and Family

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born at noon Tuesday, January 15, 1929, at the family home, 501 Auburn Avenue, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Charles Johnson was the attending physician. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the first son and second child born to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King. Other children born to the Kings were Christine King Farris and the late Reverend Alfred Daniel Williams King. Martin Luther King’s maternal grandparents were the Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, second pastor of Ebenezer Baptist, and Jenny Parks Williams. His paternal grandparents, James Albert and Delia King, were sharecroppers on a farm in Stockbridge, Georgia.

He married the former Coretta Scott, younger daughter of Obadiah and Bernice McMurray Scott of Marion, Alabama on June 18, 1953. The marriage ceremony took place on the lawn of the Scott’s home in Marion. The Reverend King, Sr., performed the service, with Mrs. Edythe Bagley, the sister of Mrs. King, maid of honor, and the Reverend A.D. King, the brother of Martin Luther King, Jr., best man.

Four children were born to Dr. and Mrs. King: Yolanda Denise (November 17, 1955 Montgomery, Alabama) Martin Luther III (October 23, 1957 Montgomery, Alabama) Dexter Scott (January 30, 1961 Atlanta, Georgia) Bernice Albertine (March 28, 1963 Atlanta, Georgia)

Education

Martin Luther King, Jr. began his education at the Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. Following Yonge School, he was enrolled in David T. Howard Elementary School. He also attended the Atlanta University Laboratory School and Booker T. Washington High School. Because of his high score on the college entrance examinations in his junior year of high school, he advanced to Morehouse College without formal graduation from Booker T. Washington. Having skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades, Dr. King entered Morehouse at the age of fifteen.

In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. degree in Sociology. That fall, he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. While attending Crozer, he also studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected president of the senior class and delivered the valedictory address; he won the Pearl Plafker Award for the most outstanding student; and he received the J. Lewis Crozer fellowship for graduate study at a university of his choice. He was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer in 1951.

In September of 1951, Martin Luther King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University. He also studied at Harvard University. His dissertation,A Comparison of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Wieman, was completed in 1955, and the Ph.D. degree from Boston, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology, was awarded on June 5, 1955.

Martin Luther King entered the Christian ministry and was ordained in February 1948 at the age of nineteen at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Following his ordination, he became Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer. Upon completion of his studies at Boston University, he accepted the call of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama. He was the pastor of Dexter Avenue from September 1954 to November 1959, when he resigned to move to Atlanta to direct the activities of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. From 1960 until his death in 1968, he was co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church and President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Dr. King was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. He was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization which was responsible for the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1955 to 1956 (381 days). He was arrested thirty times for his participation in civil rights activities. He was a founder and president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 to 1968. He was also vice president of the national Sunday School and Baptist Teaching Union Congress of the National Baptist Convention. He was a member of several national and local boards of directors and served on the boards of trustees of several institutions and agencies. Dr. King was elected to membership in several learned societies including the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Speeches

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital personality of the modern era. His lectures and remarks stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation; the movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life; his courageous and selfless devotion gave direction to thirteen years of civil rights activities; his charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in the nation and abroad. Dr. King’s concept of somebodiness gave black and poor people a new sense of worth and dignity. His philosophy of nonviolent direct action, and his strategies for rational and non-destructive social change, galvanized the conscience of this nation and reordered its priorities. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, for example, went to Congress as a result of the Selma to Montgomery march. His wisdom, his words, his actions, his commitment, and his dreams for a new cast of life, are intertwined with the American experience. Dr. King’s speech at the march on Washington in 1963, his acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize, his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and his final speech in Memphis (I’ve Been to the Mountaintop)are among his most famous. The Letter from Birmingham Jail ranks among the most important American documents.

Death

Dr. King was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, by James Earl Ray. James Earl Ray was arrested in London, England on June 8, 1968 and returned to Memphis, Tennessee to stand trial for the assassination of Dr. King. On March 9, 1969, before coming to trial, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to ninety-nine years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Dr. King had been in Memphis to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable conditions. His funeral services were held April 9, 1968, in Atlanta at Ebenezer Church and on the campus of Morehouse College, with the President of the United States proclaiming a day of mourning and flags being flown at half-staff. The area where Dr. King was entombed is located on Freedom Plaza and surrounded by the Freedom Hall Complex of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site, a 23 acre area was listed as a National Historic Landmark on May 5, 1977, and was made a National Historic Site on October 10, 1980 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. – Simple English Wikipedia, the free …

Martin Luther King, Jr.

King in 1964

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968)[1] was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for improving civil rights by using nonviolent civil disobedience, based on his Christian beliefs. Because he was both a Ph.D. and a pastor, King is sometimes called The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. (abbreviated the Rev. Dr. King), or just Dr. King.[a] He is also known by his initials, MLK.

King worked hard to make people understand that not only blacks but that all races should always be treated equally to white people. He gave speeches to encourage African Americans to protest without using violence.

Led by Dr. King and others, many African Americans used nonviolent, peaceful strategies to fight for their civil rights. These strategies included sit-ins, boycotts, and protest marches. Often they were attacked by white police officers or people who did not want African Americans to have more rights. However, no matter how badly they were attacked, Dr. King and his followers never fought back.

King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. The next year, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

King fought for equal rights from the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 until he was murdered by James Earl Ray in April 1968.

Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. Although the name “Michael” appeared on his birth certificate, his name was later changed to Martin Luther in honor of German reformer Martin Luther.[2]

As King was growing up, everything in Georgia was segregated. This meant that black and white people were not allowed to go to the same schools, use the same public bathrooms, eat at the same restaurants, or even go to the same hospitals. Everything was separate. However, the white hospitals, schools, and other places were usually much better than the places where black people were allowed to go.[3]

At age 6, King first went through discrimination (being treated worse than a white person because he was black). He was sent to an all-black school, and a white friend was sent to an all-white school.[1]

Once, when he was 14, King won a contest with a speech about civil rights. When he was going back home on a bus, he was forced to give up his seat and stand for the bus ride so a white person could sit down.[1] At the time, white people were seen as more important than black people. If a white person wanted a seat, that person could take the seat from any African American.[3] King later said having to give up his seat made him “the angriest I’ve ever been in my life.”[4]

King went to segregated schools in Georgia, and finished high school at age 15.[2] He went on to Morehouse College in Georgia, where his father and grandfather had gone.[2] After graduating from college in 1948, King decided he was not exactly the type of person to join the Baptist Church. He was not sure what kind of career he wanted. He thought about being a doctor or a lawyer. He decided not to do either, and joined the Baptist Church. [5]

King went to a seminary in Pennsylvania to become a pastor. While studying there, King learned about the non-violent methods used by Mahatma Gandhi against the British Empire in India. King was convinced that these non-violent methods would help the civil rights movement.[6]

Finally, in 1955, King earned a Ph.D. from Boston University’s School of Theology.[1]

King first started his civil rights activism in 1955. At that time, he led a protest against the way black people were segregated on buses.[7] They had to sit at the back of the bus, separate from white people.[3] He told his supporters, and the people who were against equal rights, that people should only use peaceful ways to solve the problem.[8]

King was chosen as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), which was created during the boycott. Rosa Parks later said: “Dr. King was chosen in part because he was relatively new to the community and so [he] did not have any enemies.”[9] King ended up becoming an important leader of the boycott, becoming famous around the country, and making many enemies.[10]

King was arrested for starting a boycott. He was fined $500, plus $500 more in court costs.[11] His house was fire-bombed. Others involved with MIA were also threatened.[7] However, by December 1956, segregation had been ended on Montgomery’s buses. People could sit anywhere they wanted on the buses.[12]

After the bus boycott, King and Ralph Abernathy started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).[7] The group decided that they would only use non-violence. Its motto was “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”[13] The SCLC chose King as its president.[7]

In 1963, King helped plan the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This was the largest protest for human rights in United States history.[14] On August 28, 1963, about 250,000 people marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.[14][15] Then they listed to civil rights leaders speak. King was the last speaker. His speech, called “I Have a Dream,” became one of history’s most famous civil rights speeches.[16] King talked about his dream that one day, white and black people would be equal.

That same year, the United States government passed the Civil Rights Act. This law made many kinds of discrimination against black people illegal.[17] The March on Washington made it clear to the United States government that they needed to take action on civil rights, and it helped get the Civil Rights Act passed.[18]

In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[2] When presenting him with the award, the Chairman of the Nobel Committee said:

Today, now that mankind [has] the atom bomb, the time has come to lay our weapons and armaments aside and listen to the message Martin Luther King has given us[:] “The choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence”….

King and many others then started working on the problem of racism in voting. At the time, many of the Southern states had laws which made it very hard or impossible for African-Americans to vote. For example, they would make African Americans pay extra taxes, pass reading tests, or pass tests about the Constitution. White people did not have to do these things.[19]

In 1963 and 1964, civil rights groups in Selma, Alabama had been trying to sign African-American people up to vote, but they had not been able to. At the time, 99% of the people signed up to vote in Selma were white.[20] However, the government workers who signed up voters were all white. They refused to sign up African-Americans.[19] In January 1965, these civil rights groups asked King and the SCLC to help them. Together, they started working on voting rights.[1] However, the next month, an African-American man named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot by a police officer during a peaceful march. Jackson died.[21]pp.121-123 Many African-American people were very angry.

The SCLC decided to organize a march from Selma to Montgomery.[22] By walking 54 miles (87 kilometers) to the state capital, activists hoped to show how badly African-Americans wanted to vote. They also wanted to show that they would not let racism or violence stop them from getting equal rights.[20]

The first march was on March 7, 1965. Police officers, and people they had chosen to help them, attacked the marchers with clubs and tear gas. They threatened to throw the marchers off the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Seventeen marchers had to go to the hospital, and 50 others were also injured.[23] This day came to be called Bloody Sunday. Pictures and film of the marchers being beaten were shown around the world, in newspapers and on television.[24] Seeing these things made more people support the civil rights activists. People came from all over the United States to march with the activists. One of them, James Reeb, was attacked by white people for supporting civil rights. He died on March 11, 1965.[25]

Finally, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to send soldiers from the United States Army and the Alabama National Guard to protect the marchers.[21] From March 21 to March 25, the marchers walked along the “Jefferson Davis Highway” from Selma to Montgomery.[21] Led by King and other leaders, 25,000 people who entered Montgomery on March 25.[21] He gave a speech called “How Long? Not Long” at the Alabama State Capitol. He told the marchers that it would not be long before they had equal rights, “because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”[26]

On August 6, 1965, the United States passed the Voting Rights Act. This law made it illegal to stop somebody from voting because of their race.[27]

After this, King continued to fight poverty and the Vietnam War.[1]

King had made enemies by working for civil rights and becoming such a powerful leader. The Ku Klux Klan did what they could to hurt King’s reputation, especially in the South. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) watched King closely. They wiretapped his phones, his home, and the phones and homes of his friends.[28]

On April 4, 1968, King was in Memphis, Tennessee. He planned to lead a protest march to support garbage workers who were on strike. At 6:01 pm, King was shot while he was standing on the balcony of his motel room.[29]pp.284-285 The bullet entered through his right cheek and travelled down his neck. It cut open the biggest veins and arteries in King’s neck before stopping in his shoulder.[30]

King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital. His heart had stopped. Doctors there cut open his chest and tried to make his heart start pumping again.[30] However, they were unable to save King’s life. He died at 7:05 p.m.[29]pp.284-285

King’s death led to riots in many cities.[31]

In March 1969, James Earl Ray was found guilty of killing King. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.[32] Ray died in 1998.[33]

Just days after King’s death, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968.[34] Title VIII of the Act, usually called the Fair Housing Act, made it illegal to discriminate in housing because of a person’s race, religion, or home country. (For example, this made it illegal for a realtor to refuse to let a black family buy a house in a white neighborhood.) This law was seen as a tribute to King’s last few years of work fighting housing discrimination in the United States.[34]

… I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry… to clothe those who were naked… to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. [35] Martin Luther King, Jr., February 4, 1968

After his death, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[36] King and his wife were also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.[37]

In 1986, the United States government created a national holiday in King’s honor. It is called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is celebrated on the third Monday in January.[1] This is around the time of King’s birthday. Many people fought for the holiday to be created, including singer Stevie Wonder.

In 2003, the United States Congress passed a law allowing the beginning words of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to be carved into the Lincoln Memorial.[38]

King County in the state of Washington, where Seattle is located in, is named after King.[39] Originally, the county was named after William R. King, an American politician who owned slaves.[39] In 2005, the King County government decided the county would now be named after Martin Luther King, Jr. Two years later, they changed their official logo to include a picture of King.[39]

More than 900 streets in the United States have also been named after King. These streets exist in 40 different states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico.[40]

In 2011, a memorial statue of King was put up on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

There are also memorials for King around the world. These include:[41]

Rosa Parks with King during the bus boycott (1955)

View of the protestors at the March on Washington (1963)

Police and protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965)

King speaks at an anti-Vietnam War rally at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul (1967)

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Martin Luther King Jr. – A Historical Examination: The Death …

The Death of the Dream: The Day Martin Luther King Was Shot

Left to right: Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph David Abernathy on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel Memphis hotel, a day before King’s assassination. April 3, 1968.

The picture above has been shown millions of times. King, the day before his death, greeting his supporters. What is not publicly known is what happened the night before his death. Newsweek magazine from January 19, 1998 gives you a small glimpse of the real Martin Luther King Jr.

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65. (book reviews) Jon Meacham

01/19/98 Newsweek, Page 62

January 6, 1964, was a long day for Martin Luther King Jr. He spent the morning seated in the reserved section of the Supreme Court, listening as lawyers argued New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, a landmark case rising out of King’s crusade against segregation in Alabama. The minister was something of an honored guest: Justice Arthur Goldberg quietly sent down a copy of Kings account of the Montgomery bus boycott, “Stride Toward Freedom,” asking for an autograph. That night King retired to his room at the Willard Hotel. There FBI bugs reportedly picked up 14 hours of party chatter, the clinking of glasses and the sounds of illicit sex–including King’s cries of “I’m f–ing for God” and “I’m not a Negro tonight!”

Note: What is not mentioned in this article is that Martin Luther King was having sex with three White women, one of whom he brutally beat while screaming the above mentioned quotes. Much of the public information on King’s use of church money to hire prostitutes and his beating them came from King’s close personal friend, Rev. Ralph Abernathy (pictured above), in his 1989 book, “And the walls came tumbling down.”

Sources:

Newsweek Magazine 1-19-1998, page 62

“And the walls came tumbling down,” by Rev. Ralph Abernathy (1989)

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Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) | New Georgia Encyclopedia

Early Life and Education, 1929-1955 Family, church, and education shaped King’s life from an early age. Michael Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, to Alberta Williams and Michael Luther King Sr. In 1934, after visiting Europe, Michael King Sr. changed his and his son’s name in honor of the sixteenth-century German church reformer Martin Luther. King spent his early years in the family home at 501 Auburn Avenue, about a block from Ebenezer Baptist Church. His maternal grandfather, A. D. Williams, was pastor at Ebenezer from 1894 until 1931. After Williams’s death, the elder King succeeded his father-in-law at the pulpit. King was educated in Atlanta, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1944. He then enrolled at Morehouse College,where Williams had studied. King first considered studying medicine or law but decided to major in sociology. He ultimately found the call to the ministry irresistible, however. He served as assistant to his father at Ebenezer while studying at Morehouse. In February 1948 King Sr. ordained his son as a Baptist minister.

After graduating from Morehouse in June 1948, King studied for a divinity degree at Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania, and graduated in May 1951. The following September King enrolled in the Ph.D. program in systematic theologyat Boston University. There he met his future wife, Coretta Scott. King’s father preferred that his son marry an Atlanta woman and initially opposed King’s plans to marry Coretta. When King refused to back down, his father relented, and on June 18, 1953, he performed the marriage ceremony at the Scott family home in rural Perry County, Alabama.

During his last year of residential studies at Boston University, King sought employment while he finished his dissertation. Through a family friend he learned of a vacant position at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King desired a pulpit in a southern city but also wanted to escape Atlanta and gain independence from his father, so he arranged a trial sermon. King was offered the position, and in 1954 he moved to Montgomery with Coretta. In June 1955 King received his Ph.D. The Kings’ first child, Yolanda Denise, was born November 17, 1955.

At the meeting black leaders agreed on a one-day boycott. When this was successful, they agreed to extend the action. King was asked to head the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), a new organization formed to run the bus boycott. He had not planned to take a leading role, but he agreed to serve. The boycott ran for 381 days. Throughout, whites in Montgomery tried to stymie it. King and other MIA members were arrested. Segregationists even bombed King’s home.

The intimidation strengthened the resolve of the black community. The initial demands of the MIA for a modified system of segregation on city buses evolved into a lawsuit that called for its total abolishment. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional. On December 21, 1956, King was among the first passengers to board an integrated bus.

The bus boycott made King a national symbol of black protest. In the next few years he spoke alongside other national black leaders and met with U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower and a host of foreign dignitaries. In 1958 King published Stride toward Freedom, his account of the Montgomery boycott. His newfound recognition came at a price. In September 1958 a mentally ill black woman, Izola Ware Curry, stabbed King in the chest at a book signing in New York. King barely survived the injury. Earlier that month, police in Montgomery had again arrested King. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to take an interest in him, starting a covert surveillance of his activities that continued for the rest of his life.

Learning from Albany, King and the SCLC carefully chose their next targetin 1963. In Birmingham, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) under the leadership of the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth provided an established local base for protest. Specific goals and a strategy for the movement were drawn up in advance. As expected, the Birmingham police chief Eugene “Bull” Connor met protestors with force, using police dogs and high-power fire hoses to break up demonstrations. The conflict brought national news headlines and federal intervention, and pulled local white businessmen to the negotiating table. The campaign made significant gains in desegregating downtown facilities and in opening up black employment opportunities, although segregationist violence in the city remained a serious problem. Arrested and jailed for eight days during the Birmingham campaign, King composed his well-known “Letter from Birmingham Jail” during his incarceration.

Not everything went King’s way. After a surge in white violencein Birmingham,attempts to renew demonstrationsmet with stiff opposition and failed to make much headway.King lost a carefully cultivated federal ally whenU.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, though the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, proved equally if not more sympathetic with the civil rights movement. TheSCLClaunched a newcampaignin St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964, but it failed to win meaningful concessions for local blacks. King’s attempts to mediate the seating of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation at the 1964 Democratic Party convention failed as well. Around the same time the FBI stepped up its campaign of harassment and intimidation against King.

As was often the case in King’s relatively short public career, victory and defeat, as well as advancement and setback, were never far apart.

King responded to these developments in a variety of ways. He took the SCLC into the northern ghettos in an attempt to alleviate the conditions that caused the urban riots. He opposed much of the angry rhetoric of Black Power and continued to stress the importance of nonviolence. He spoke out ever more stridently in opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He opposed conservative politicians who sought to exploit white racial fears. He also gained new insight about black problems in the United States as the movement shifted from tackling segregation to confronting the problem of racial discrimination.

In 1965-66 the SCLC launched its first northern campaign in Chicago. King felt that the urban riots in northern cities underlined the need for SCLC assistance, focusing on such issues as black employment, housing, and education opportunities. The Chicago campaign highlighted the difficulties of fighting entrenched racism. The city was much bigger than previous communities in which the SCLC had worked. Discrimination was much more difficult to dramatize than segregation. SCLC funds declined, making operations even more problematic. Despite some successes, the SCLC failed to make the desired impact on black advancement in Chicago.

King was selected as one of the inaugural honorees for the Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, a monument in Washington, D.C., that celebrates the efforts of national volunteer leaders. The pathway was unveiled in October 2005. In August 2011 a memorial to King was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the first on the Mall to honor either a nonpresident or an African American.

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs settle Nobel medal dispute …

By David Beasley | ATLANTA ATLANTA Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs have agreed to end their legal fight over who owns the slain civil rights leader’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal, according to a court document filed on Monday that did not disclose if the item will be sold. A trial to settle the years-long dispute had been set to start in Atlanta on Monday. It would have pitted King’s two sons against his surviving daughter, who were at odds over whether to sell the medal. In a joint statement from the siblings, the family credited former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with guiding them to the confidential agreement. The three siblings serve as directors of a corporation formed to manage the estate of King, who had no will when he was assassinated in 1968 at age 39 by a white supremacist in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King III and Dexter King voted in January 2014 to sell the medal and a Bible their father carried during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Bernice King objected to a sale, calling the heirlooms “sacred” to the family. Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney had ordered the items to be kept in a court-controlled safe deposit box pending the outcome of the lawsuit. The judge on Monday signed an order in which the parties asked for the suit to be dismissed and agreed the keys to the box should be given to Martin Luther King III, who serves as chairman of the estate board. The judge said in court he did not know any further details of the settlement. “While Bernice has always believed that the Peace Prize and Bible should not be sold, I am grateful that she has agreed not to stand in the way of the Estates decisions about how to handle the items,” Carter said in a statement. “As in any mediation, compromises were required, and I am glad that the parties resolved the issues in the interest of the greater good and their parents legacy, the former president added. Last month, McBurney ruled that the Bible, which Barack Obama, America’s first black president, used at his second inaugural in 2013, belonged to the estate. (Editing by Alan Crosby and Peter Cooney)

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Martin Luther King Jr. > Quotes – Goodreads

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they cant stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes theyll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. Thats love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. Theres something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”) Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Martin Luther King Day in the United States

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States. Martin Luther King Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups. Martin Luther King Day, also known as Martin Luther Kings birthday and Martin Luther King Jr Day, is combined with other days in different states. For example, it is combined with Civil Rights Day in Arizona and New Hampshire, while it is observed together with Human Rights Day in Idaho. It is also a day that is combined with Robert E. Lees birthday in some states. The day is known as Wyoming Equality Day in the state of Wyoming. Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday, but has slightly different names in some states. Non-essential Government departments are closed, as are many corporations. Some schools and colleges close but others stay open and teach their students about the life and work of Martin Luther King. Small companies, such as grocery stores and restaurants tend to be open, although a growing number are choosing to close on this day. Some compensate by opening on Washington’s Birthday instead. Recent federal legislation encourages Americans to give some of their time on Martin Luther King Day as volunteers in citizen action groups. Public transit systems may or may not operate on their regular schedule. Martin Luther King was an important civil rights activist. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States. His most famous address was the “I Have A Dream” speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968. In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King died, a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. It was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single “Happy Birthday” and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000. In 1990, the Wyoming legislature designated Martin Luther King Jr/Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday. List of dates for other years

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Martin Luther King, Jr. | Biography & Facts | Britannica.com

Alternative titles: Michael Luther King, Jr.; MLK Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr.American religious leader and civil-rights activist January 15, 1929 Atlanta, Georgia April 4, 1968 Memphis, Tennessee Martin Luther King, Jr., original name Michael King, Jr. (born January 15, 1929, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.died April 4, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee) Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. His leadership was fundamental to that movements success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. King rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the massive March on Washington (1963), to achieve civil rights. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. King came from a comfortable middle-class family steeped in the tradition of the Southern black ministry: both his father and maternal grandfather were Baptist preachers. His parents were college-educated, and Kings father had succeeded his father-in-law as pastor of the prestigious Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The family lived on Auburn Avenue, otherwise known as Sweet Auburn, the bustling black Wall Street, home to some of the countrys largest and most prosperous black businesses and black churches in the years before the civil rights movement. Young Martin received a solid education and grew up in a loving extended family. This secure upbringing, however, did not prevent King from experiencing the prejudices then common in the South. He never forgot the time when, at about age six, one of his white playmates announced that his parents would no longer allow him to play with King, because the children were now attending segregated schools. Dearest to King in these early years was his maternal grandmother, whose death in 1941 left him shaken and unstable. Upset because he had learned of her fatal heart attack while attending a parade without his parents permission, the 12-year-old King attempted suicide by jumping from a second-story window. In 1944, at age 15, King entered Morehouse College in Atlanta under a special wartime program intended to boost enrollment by admitting promising high-school students like King. Before beginning college, however, King spent the summer on a tobacco farm in Connecticut; it was his first extended stay away from home and his first substantial experience of race relations outside the segregated South. He was shocked by how peacefully the races mixed in the North. Negroes and whites go [to] the same church, he noted in a letter to his parents. I never [thought] that a person of my race could eat anywhere. This summer experience in the North only deepened Kings growing hatred of racial segregation. At Morehouse, King favoured studies in medicine and law, but these were eclipsed in his senior year by a decision to enter the ministry, as his father had urged. Kings mentor at Morehouse was the college president, Benjamin Mays, a social gospel activist whose rich oratory and progressive ideas had left an indelible imprint on Kings father. Committed to fighting racial inequality, Mays accused the African American community of complacency in the face of oppression, and he prodded the black church into social action by criticizing its emphasis on the hereafter instead of the here and now; it was a call to service that was not lost on the teenage King. He graduated from Morehouse in 1948. King spent the next three years at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he became acquainted with Mohandas Gandhis philosophy of nonviolence as well as with the thought of contemporary Protestant theologians. He earned a bachelor of divinity degree in 1951. Renowned for his oratorical skills, King was elected president of Crozers student body, which was composed almost exclusively of white students. As a professor at Crozer wrote in a letter of recommendation for King, The fact that with our student body largely Southern in constitution a colored man should be elected to and be popular [in] such a position is in itself no mean recommendation. From Crozer, King went to Boston University, where, in seeking a firm foundation for his own theological and ethical inclinations, he studied mans relationship to God and received a doctorate (1955) for a dissertation titled A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman. King, Martin Luther, Jr.; Montgomery, Alabama Bettmann/CorbisWhile in Boston, King met Coretta Scott, a native Alabamian who was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music. They were married in 1953 and had four children. King had been pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, slightly more than a year when the citys small group of civil rights advocates decided to contest racial segregation on that citys public bus system following the incident on December 1, 1955, in which Rosa Parks, an African American woman, had refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger and as a consequence was arrested for violating the citys segregation law. Activists formed the Montgomery Improvement Association to boycott the transit system and chose King as their leader. He had the advantage of being a young, well-trained man who was too new in town to have made enemies; he was generally respected, and it was thought that his family connections and professional standing would enable him to find another pastorate should the boycott fail. In his first speech to the group as its president, King declared: We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice. These words introduced to the country a fresh voice, a skillful rhetoric, an inspiring personality, and in time a dynamic new doctrine of civil struggle. Although Kings home was dynamited and his familys safety threatened, he continued to lead the boycott until, one year and a few weeks later, the citys buses were desegregated. Recognizing the need for a mass movement to capitalize on the successful Montgomery action, King set about organizing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which gave him a base of operation throughout the South, as well as a national platform from which to speak. King lectured in all parts of the country and discussed race-related issues with religious and civil rights leaders at home and abroad. In February 1959 he and his party were warmly received by Indias Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and others; as the result of a brief discussion with followers of Gandhi about the Gandhian concepts of peaceful noncompliance (satyagraha), King became increasingly convinced that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. King also looked to Africa for inspiration. The liberation struggle in Africa has been the greatest single international influence on American Negro students, he wrote. Frequently I hear them say that if their African brothers can break the bonds of colonialism, surely the American Negro can break Jim Crow. In 1960 King and his family moved to his native city of Atlanta, where he became co-pastor with his father of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. At this post he devoted most of his time to the SCLC and the civil rights movement, declaring that the psychological moment has come when a concentrated drive against injustice can bring great, tangible gains. His thesis was soon tested as he agreed to support the sit-in demonstrations undertaken by local black college students. In late October he was arrested with 33 young people protesting segregation at the lunch counter in an Atlanta department store. Charges were dropped, but King was sentenced to Reidsville State Prison Farm on the pretext that he had violated his probation on a minor traffic offense committed several months earlier. The case assumed national proportions, with widespread concern over his safety, outrage at Georgias flouting of legal forms, and the failure of Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower to intervene. King was released only upon the intercession of Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedyan action so widely publicized that it was felt to have contributed substantially to Kennedys slender election victory eight days later. Johnson, Lyndon B.: meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr.Yoichi Okamoto/Lyndon B. Johnson Library PhotoIn the years from 1960 to 1965, Kings influence reached its zenith. Handsome, eloquent, and doggedly determined, King quickly caught the attention of the news media, particularly of the producers of that budding medium of social changetelevision. He understood the power of television to nationalize and internationalize the struggle for civil rights, and his well-publicized tactics of active nonviolence (sit-ins, protest marches) aroused the devoted allegiance of many African Americans and liberal whites in all parts of the country, as well as support from the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. But there were also notable failures, as in Albany, Georgia (196162), when King and his colleagues failed to achieve their desegregation goals for public parks and other facilities. In Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963, Kings campaign to end segregation at lunch counters and in hiring practices drew nationwide attention when police turned dogs and fire hoses on the demonstrators. King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, including hundreds of schoolchildren. His supporters did not, however, include all the black clergy of Birmingham, and he was strongly opposed by some of the white clergy who had issued a statement urging African Americans not to support the demonstrations. From the Birmingham jail, King wrote a letter of great eloquence in which he spelled out his philosophy of nonviolence: You may well ask: Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isnt negotiation a better path? You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. I Have A Dream: King delivering his I Have a Dream speech in Washington, 1963Francis MillerTime Life Pictures/Getty ImagesNear the end of the Birmingham campaign, in an effort to draw together the multiple forces for peaceful change and to dramatize to the country and to the world the importance of solving the U.S. racial problem, King joined other civil rights leaders in organizing the historic March on Washington. On August 28, 1963, an interracial assembly of more than 200,000 gathered peaceably in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial to demand equal justice for all citizens under the law. Here the crowds were uplifted by the emotional strength and prophetic quality of Kings famous I Have a Dream speech, in which he emphasized his faith that all men, someday, would be brothers. Johnson, Lyndon B.: signing the Civil Rights ActLyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum; photograph, Cecil StoughtonThe rising tide of civil rights agitation produced, as King had hoped, a strong effect on national opinion and resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities, as well as in employment. That eventful year was climaxed by the award to King of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in December. I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind, said King in his acceptance speech. I refuse to accept the idea that the isness of mans present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal oughtness that forever confronts him. Martin Luther King, Jr.Bettmann/CorbisThe first signs of opposition to Kings tactics from within the civil rights movement surfaced during the March 1965 demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, which were aimed at dramatizing the need for a federal voting-rights law that would provide legal support for the enfranchisement of African Americans in the South. King organized an initial march from Selma to the state capitol building in Montgomery but did not lead it himself. The marchers were turned back by state troopers with nightsticks and tear gas. He was determined to lead a second march, despite an injunction by a federal court and efforts from Washington to persuade him to cancel it. Heading a procession of 1,500 marchers, black and white, he set out across Pettus Bridge outside Selma until the group came to a barricade of state troopers. But, instead of going on and forcing a confrontation, he led his followers to kneel in prayer and then unexpectedly turned back. This decision cost King the support of many young radicals who were already faulting him for being too cautious. The suspicion of an arrangement with federal and local authoritiesvigorously but not entirely convincingly deniedclung to the Selma affair. The country was nevertheless aroused, resulting in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Throughout the nation, impatience with the lack of greater substantive progress encouraged the growth of black militancy. Especially in the slums of the large Northern cities, Kings religious philosophy of nonviolence was increasingly questioned. The rioting in the Watts district of Los Angeles in August 1965 demonstrated the depth of unrest among urban African Americans. In an effort to meet the challenge of the ghetto, King and his forces initiated a drive against racial discrimination in Chicago at the beginning of the following year. The chief target was to be segregation in housing. After a spring and summer of rallies, marches, and demonstrations, an agreement was signed between the city and a coalition of African Americans, liberals, and labour organizations, calling for various measures to enforce the existing laws and regulations with respect to housing. But this agreement was to have little effect; the impression remained that Kings Chicago campaign was nullified partly because of the opposition of that citys powerful mayor, Richard J. Daley, and partly because of the unexpected complexities of Northern racism. Malcolm X: Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (digital file no. 3d01847u)In Illinois and Mississippi alike, King was now being challenged and even publicly derided by young black-power enthusiasts. Whereas King stood for patience, middle-class respectability, and a measured approach to social change, the sharp-tongued, blue jean-clad young urban radicals stood for confrontation and immediate change. In the latters eyes, the suit-wearing, calm-spoken civil rights leader was irresponsibly passive and old beyond his years (King was in his 30s)more a member of the other side of the generation gap than their revolutionary leader. Malcolm X went so far as to call Kings tactics criminal: Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. In the face of mounting criticism, King broadened his approach to include concerns other than racism. On April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City and again on the 15th at a mammoth peace rally in that city, he committed himself irrevocably to opposing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Once before, in early January 1966, he had condemned the war, but official outrage from Washington and strenuous opposition within the black community itself had caused him to relent. He next sought to widen his base by forming a coalition of the poor of all races that would address itself to economic problems such as poverty and unemployment. It was a version of populismseeking to enroll janitors, hospital workers, seasonal labourers, and the destitute of Appalachia, along with the student militants and pacifist intellectuals. His endeavours along these lines, however, did not engender much support in any segment of the population. Meanwhile, the strain and changing dynamics of the civil rights movement had taken a toll on King, especially in the final months of his life. Im frankly tired of marching. Im tired of going to jail, he admitted in 1968. Living every day under the threat of death, I feel discouraged every now and then and feel my works in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again. riot: building in Washington, D.C., destroyed during riots following King assassinationLibrary of Congress, Washington, D.C. (digital file no. 03132u)Kings plans for a Poor Peoples March to Washington were interrupted in the spring of 1968 by a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of a strike by that citys sanitation workers. In the opinion of many of his followers and biographers, King seemed to sense his end was near. As King prophetically told a crowd at the Mason Temple Church in Memphis on April 3, the night before he died, Ive seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. The next day, while standing on the second-story balcony of the Lorraine Motel, where he and his associates were staying, King was killed by a snipers bullet. The killing sparked riots and disturbances in over 100 cities across the country. On March 10, 1969, the accused assassin, a white man, James Earl Ray, pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Ray later recanted his confession, claiming lawyers had coerced him into confessing and that he was the victim of a conspiracy. In a surprising turn of events, members of the King family eventually came to Rays defense. Kings son Dexter met with the reputed assassin in March 1997 and then publicly joined Rays plea for a reopening of his case. When Ray died on April 23, 1998, Coretta Scott King declared, America will never have the benefit of Mr. Rays trial, which would have produced new revelations about the assassinationas well as establish the facts concerning Mr. Rays innocence. Although the U.S. government conducted several investigations into the murder of King and each time concluded that Ray was the sole assassin, the killing remains a matter of controversy. play_circle_outlineSocrates; King, Martin Luther, Jr.Courtesy of Northwestern University (A Britannica Publishing Partner)In the years after his death, King remained the most widely known African American leader of his era. His stature as a major historical figure was confirmed by the successful campaign to establish a national holiday in his honour in the United States and by the building of a King memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., near the Lincoln Memorial, the site of his famous I Have a Dream speech in 1963. Many states and municipalities have enacted King holidays, authorized public statues and paintings of him, and named streets, schools, and other entities for him. These efforts to honour King have focused more on his role as a civil rights advocate than on his controversial speeches, during his final year, condemning American intervention in Vietnam and calling for the Poor Peoples Campaign. The King holiday campaign overcame forceful opposition, with critics citing FBI surveillance files suggesting that King was an adulterous radical influenced by communists. Although the release of these files during the 1970s under the Freedom of Information Act fueled the public debate over Kings legacy, the extensive archives that now exist document Kings life and thought and have informed numerous serious studies offering balanced and comprehensive perspectives. Two major books featuring KingDavid J. Garrows Bearing the Cross (1986) and Taylor Branchs Parting the Waters (1988)won Pulitzer Prizes. Subsequent books and articles reaffirmed Kings historical significance while portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible, and limited in his control over the mass movements with which he was associated, yet also a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means. Although the idea of a King national holiday did not gain significant congressional support until the late 1970s, efforts to commemorate Kings life began almost immediately after his assassination. In 1968 Rep. John Conyers of Michigan introduced a King holiday bill. The idea gradually began to attract political support once the newly formed Congressional Black Caucus included the holiday in its reform agenda. Coretta Scott King also played a central role in building popular support for the King holiday campaign while serving as founding president of the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change (later renamed the King Center), which became one of the major archives of Kings papers. Despite the overall conservative trend in American politics in the 1980s, which might have been expected to work against recognition of the efforts of a controversial activist, King holiday advocates gained political support by portraying him as a symbol of the countrys progress in race relations. Musician Stevie Wonder contributed to the campaign by writing and recording Happy Birthday, a popular tribute to King. In 1983 Coretta Scott King and Stevie Wonder participated in the 20th Anniversary March on Washington, which drew a bigger crowd than the original march. After the House and the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of the King holiday bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy, Pres. Ronald Reagan put aside his initial doubts and signed the legislation on November 3, 1983, establishing Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, to be celebrated annually on the third Monday in January. Coretta Scott King also succeeded in gaining congressional approval to establish a King Federal Holiday Commission to plan annual celebrations, beginning January 20, 1986, that would encourage Americans to reflect on the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by Dr. King. Celebration of the King national holiday did not end contention over Kings legacy, but his status as an American icon became more widely accepted over time. The revelation during the early 1990s that King had plagiarized some of his academic writings and the occasional controversies involving his heirs did little to undermine recognition of Kings enduring impact on the country. Even before the first King national holiday, members of Kings fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, had proposed a permanent memorial in Washington, D.C. By the end of the 20th century, that proposal had secured governmental approval for the site on the Tidal Basin, near the Mall. In 2000 an international design competition ended with the selection of a proposal by ROMA Design Group. To build and maintain the memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation eventually raised more than $100 million. Commemorations of Kings life were also held in other countries, and in 2009 a congressional delegation traveled to India to mark the 50th anniversary of Kings pilgrimage to what he called the Land of Gandhi. As with the lives of other major historical figures, Kings life has been interpreted in new ways by successive generations of scholars, many of whom have drawn attention to the crucial role of local black leaders in the African American protest movements of the 1950s and 60s. Recognizing that grassroots activists such as Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others prepared the way for Kings rise to national prominence, biographers and historians have questioned the view that Southern black protest movements relied on Kings charismatic guidance. Nonetheless, studies of King continue to acknowledge his distinctive leadership role. For example, though he often downplayed his contribution to the Montgomery bus boycott, Kings inspirational leadership and his speeches helped to transform a local protest over bus seating into a historically important event. More generally, studies of King have suggested that his most significant contribution to the modern African American freedom struggle was to link black aspirations to transcendent, widely shared democratic and Christian ideals. While helping grassroots leaders mobilize African Americans for sustained mass struggles, he inspired participants to believe that their cause was just and consistent with traditional American egalitarian values. King also appealed to the consciences of all Americans, thus building popular support for civil rights reform. His strategy of emphasizing nonviolent protest and interracial cooperation enabled him to fight effectively against the Southern system of legalized racial segregation and discrimination, but it also proved inadequate during his final years as he sought to overcome racial and economic problems that were national in scope. Corrections? Updates? Help us improve this article! Contact our editors with your Feedback.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes (Author of The Autobiography of …

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they cant stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes theyll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. Thats love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. Theres something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”) Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Biographical Sketch – Martin Luther King, Jr. – Research …

Birth and Family Martin Luther King, Jr. was born at noon Tuesday, January 15, 1929, at the family home, 501 Auburn Avenue, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Charles Johnson was the attending physician. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the first son and second child born to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King. Other children born to the Kings were Christine King Farris and the late Reverend Alfred Daniel Williams King. Martin Luther King’s maternal grandparents were the Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, second pastor of Ebenezer Baptist, and Jenny Parks Williams. His paternal grandparents, James Albert and Delia King, were sharecroppers on a farm in Stockbridge, Georgia. He married the former Coretta Scott, younger daughter of Obadiah and Bernice McMurray Scott of Marion, Alabama on June 18, 1953. The marriage ceremony took place on the lawn of the Scott’s home in Marion. The Reverend King, Sr., performed the service, with Mrs. Edythe Bagley, the sister of Mrs. King, maid of honor, and the Reverend A.D. King, the brother of Martin Luther King, Jr., best man. Four children were born to Dr. and Mrs. King: Yolanda Denise (November 17, 1955 Montgomery, Alabama) Martin Luther III (October 23, 1957 Montgomery, Alabama) Dexter Scott (January 30, 1961 Atlanta, Georgia) Bernice Albertine (March 28, 1963 Atlanta, Georgia) Education Martin Luther King, Jr. began his education at the Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. Following Yonge School, he was enrolled in David T. Howard Elementary School. He also attended the Atlanta University Laboratory School and Booker T. Washington High School. Because of his high score on the college entrance examinations in his junior year of high school, he advanced to Morehouse College without formal graduation from Booker T. Washington. Having skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades, Dr. King entered Morehouse at the age of fifteen. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. degree in Sociology. That fall, he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. While attending Crozer, he also studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected president of the senior class and delivered the valedictory address; he won the Pearl Plafker Award for the most outstanding student; and he received the J. Lewis Crozer fellowship for graduate study at a university of his choice. He was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer in 1951. In September of 1951, Martin Luther King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University. He also studied at Harvard University. His dissertation,A Comparison of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Wieman, was completed in 1955, and the Ph.D. degree from Boston, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology, was awarded on June 5, 1955. Martin Luther King entered the Christian ministry and was ordained in February 1948 at the age of nineteen at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Following his ordination, he became Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer. Upon completion of his studies at Boston University, he accepted the call of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama. He was the pastor of Dexter Avenue from September 1954 to November 1959, when he resigned to move to Atlanta to direct the activities of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. From 1960 until his death in 1968, he was co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church and President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. King was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. He was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization which was responsible for the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1955 to 1956 (381 days). He was arrested thirty times for his participation in civil rights activities. He was a founder and president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 to 1968. He was also vice president of the national Sunday School and Baptist Teaching Union Congress of the National Baptist Convention. He was a member of several national and local boards of directors and served on the boards of trustees of several institutions and agencies. Dr. King was elected to membership in several learned societies including the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Speeches Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital personality of the modern era. His lectures and remarks stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation; the movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life; his courageous and selfless devotion gave direction to thirteen years of civil rights activities; his charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in the nation and abroad. Dr. King’s concept of somebodiness gave black and poor people a new sense of worth and dignity. His philosophy of nonviolent direct action, and his strategies for rational and non-destructive social change, galvanized the conscience of this nation and reordered its priorities. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, for example, went to Congress as a result of the Selma to Montgomery march. His wisdom, his words, his actions, his commitment, and his dreams for a new cast of life, are intertwined with the American experience. Dr. King’s speech at the march on Washington in 1963, his acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize, his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and his final speech in Memphis (I’ve Been to the Mountaintop)are among his most famous. The Letter from Birmingham Jail ranks among the most important American documents. Death Dr. King was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, by James Earl Ray. James Earl Ray was arrested in London, England on June 8, 1968 and returned to Memphis, Tennessee to stand trial for the assassination of Dr. King. On March 9, 1969, before coming to trial, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to ninety-nine years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Dr. King had been in Memphis to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable conditions. His funeral services were held April 9, 1968, in Atlanta at Ebenezer Church and on the campus of Morehouse College, with the President of the United States proclaiming a day of mourning and flags being flown at half-staff. The area where Dr. King was entombed is located on Freedom Plaza and surrounded by the Freedom Hall Complex of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site, a 23 acre area was listed as a National Historic Landmark on May 5, 1977, and was made a National Historic Site on October 10, 1980 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. – Simple English Wikipedia, the free …

Martin Luther King, Jr. King in 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 April 4, 1968)[1] was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for improving civil rights by using nonviolent civil disobedience, based on his Christian beliefs. Because he was both a Ph.D. and a pastor, King is sometimes called The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. (abbreviated the Rev. Dr. King), or just Dr. King.[a] He is also known by his initials, MLK. King worked hard to make people understand that not only blacks but that all races should always be treated equally to white people. He gave speeches to encourage African Americans to protest without using violence. Led by Dr. King and others, many African Americans used nonviolent, peaceful strategies to fight for their civil rights. These strategies included sit-ins, boycotts, and protest marches. Often they were attacked by white police officers or people who did not want African Americans to have more rights. However, no matter how badly they were attacked, Dr. King and his followers never fought back. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. The next year, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. King fought for equal rights from the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 until he was murdered by James Earl Ray in April 1968. Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. Although the name “Michael” appeared on his birth certificate, his name was later changed to Martin Luther in honor of German reformer Martin Luther.[2] As King was growing up, everything in Georgia was segregated. This meant that black and white people were not allowed to go to the same schools, use the same public bathrooms, eat at the same restaurants, or even go to the same hospitals. Everything was separate. However, the white hospitals, schools, and other places were usually much better than the places where black people were allowed to go.[3] At age 6, King first went through discrimination (being treated worse than a white person because he was black). He was sent to an all-black school, and a white friend was sent to an all-white school.[1] Once, when he was 14, King won a contest with a speech about civil rights. When he was going back home on a bus, he was forced to give up his seat and stand for the bus ride so a white person could sit down.[1] At the time, white people were seen as more important than black people. If a white person wanted a seat, that person could take the seat from any African American.[3] King later said having to give up his seat made him “the angriest I’ve ever been in my life.”[4] King went to segregated schools in Georgia, and finished high school at age 15.[2] He went on to Morehouse College in Georgia, where his father and grandfather had gone.[2] After graduating from college in 1948, King decided he was not exactly the type of person to join the Baptist Church. He was not sure what kind of career he wanted. He thought about being a doctor or a lawyer. He decided not to do either, and joined the Baptist Church. [5] King went to a seminary in Pennsylvania to become a pastor. While studying there, King learned about the non-violent methods used by Mahatma Gandhi against the British Empire in India. King was convinced that these non-violent methods would help the civil rights movement.[6] Finally, in 1955, King earned a Ph.D. from Boston University’s School of Theology.[1] King first started his civil rights activism in 1955. At that time, he led a protest against the way black people were segregated on buses.[7] They had to sit at the back of the bus, separate from white people.[3] He told his supporters, and the people who were against equal rights, that people should only use peaceful ways to solve the problem.[8] King was chosen as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), which was created during the boycott. Rosa Parks later said: “Dr. King was chosen in part because he was relatively new to the community and so [he] did not have any enemies.”[9] King ended up becoming an important leader of the boycott, becoming famous around the country, and making many enemies.[10] King was arrested for starting a boycott. He was fined $500, plus $500 more in court costs.[11] His house was fire-bombed. Others involved with MIA were also threatened.[7] However, by December 1956, segregation had been ended on Montgomery’s buses. People could sit anywhere they wanted on the buses.[12] After the bus boycott, King and Ralph Abernathy started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).[7] The group decided that they would only use non-violence. Its motto was “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”[13] The SCLC chose King as its president.[7] In 1963, King helped plan the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This was the largest protest for human rights in United States history.[14] On August 28, 1963, about 250,000 people marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.[14][15] Then they listed to civil rights leaders speak. King was the last speaker. His speech, called “I Have a Dream,” became one of history’s most famous civil rights speeches.[16] King talked about his dream that one day, white and black people would be equal. That same year, the United States government passed the Civil Rights Act. This law made many kinds of discrimination against black people illegal.[17] The March on Washington made it clear to the United States government that they needed to take action on civil rights, and it helped get the Civil Rights Act passed.[18] In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[2] When presenting him with the award, the Chairman of the Nobel Committee said: Today, now that mankind [has] the atom bomb, the time has come to lay our weapons and armaments aside and listen to the message Martin Luther King has given us[:] “The choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence”…. King and many others then started working on the problem of racism in voting. At the time, many of the Southern states had laws which made it very hard or impossible for African-Americans to vote. For example, they would make African Americans pay extra taxes, pass reading tests, or pass tests about the Constitution. White people did not have to do these things.[19] In 1963 and 1964, civil rights groups in Selma, Alabama had been trying to sign African-American people up to vote, but they had not been able to. At the time, 99% of the people signed up to vote in Selma were white.[20] However, the government workers who signed up voters were all white. They refused to sign up African-Americans.[19] In January 1965, these civil rights groups asked King and the SCLC to help them. Together, they started working on voting rights.[1] However, the next month, an African-American man named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot by a police officer during a peaceful march. Jackson died.[21]pp.121-123 Many African-American people were very angry. The SCLC decided to organize a march from Selma to Montgomery.[22] By walking 54 miles (87 kilometers) to the state capital, activists hoped to show how badly African-Americans wanted to vote. They also wanted to show that they would not let racism or violence stop them from getting equal rights.[20] The first march was on March 7, 1965. Police officers, and people they had chosen to help them, attacked the marchers with clubs and tear gas. They threatened to throw the marchers off the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Seventeen marchers had to go to the hospital, and 50 others were also injured.[23] This day came to be called Bloody Sunday. Pictures and film of the marchers being beaten were shown around the world, in newspapers and on television.[24] Seeing these things made more people support the civil rights activists. People came from all over the United States to march with the activists. One of them, James Reeb, was attacked by white people for supporting civil rights. He died on March 11, 1965.[25] Finally, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to send soldiers from the United States Army and the Alabama National Guard to protect the marchers.[21] From March 21 to March 25, the marchers walked along the “Jefferson Davis Highway” from Selma to Montgomery.[21] Led by King and other leaders, 25,000 people who entered Montgomery on March 25.[21] He gave a speech called “How Long? Not Long” at the Alabama State Capitol. He told the marchers that it would not be long before they had equal rights, “because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”[26] On August 6, 1965, the United States passed the Voting Rights Act. This law made it illegal to stop somebody from voting because of their race.[27] After this, King continued to fight poverty and the Vietnam War.[1] King had made enemies by working for civil rights and becoming such a powerful leader. The Ku Klux Klan did what they could to hurt King’s reputation, especially in the South. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) watched King closely. They wiretapped his phones, his home, and the phones and homes of his friends.[28] On April 4, 1968, King was in Memphis, Tennessee. He planned to lead a protest march to support garbage workers who were on strike. At 6:01 pm, King was shot while he was standing on the balcony of his motel room.[29]pp.284-285 The bullet entered through his right cheek and travelled down his neck. It cut open the biggest veins and arteries in King’s neck before stopping in his shoulder.[30] King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital. His heart had stopped. Doctors there cut open his chest and tried to make his heart start pumping again.[30] However, they were unable to save King’s life. He died at 7:05 p.m.[29]pp.284-285 King’s death led to riots in many cities.[31] In March 1969, James Earl Ray was found guilty of killing King. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.[32] Ray died in 1998.[33] Just days after King’s death, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968.[34] Title VIII of the Act, usually called the Fair Housing Act, made it illegal to discriminate in housing because of a person’s race, religion, or home country. (For example, this made it illegal for a realtor to refuse to let a black family buy a house in a white neighborhood.) This law was seen as a tribute to King’s last few years of work fighting housing discrimination in the United States.[34] … I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry… to clothe those who were naked… to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. [35] Martin Luther King, Jr., February 4, 1968 After his death, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[36] King and his wife were also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.[37] In 1986, the United States government created a national holiday in King’s honor. It is called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is celebrated on the third Monday in January.[1] This is around the time of King’s birthday. Many people fought for the holiday to be created, including singer Stevie Wonder. In 2003, the United States Congress passed a law allowing the beginning words of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to be carved into the Lincoln Memorial.[38] King County in the state of Washington, where Seattle is located in, is named after King.[39] Originally, the county was named after William R. King, an American politician who owned slaves.[39] In 2005, the King County government decided the county would now be named after Martin Luther King, Jr. Two years later, they changed their official logo to include a picture of King.[39] More than 900 streets in the United States have also been named after King. These streets exist in 40 different states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico.[40] In 2011, a memorial statue of King was put up on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. There are also memorials for King around the world. These include:[41] Rosa Parks with King during the bus boycott (1955) View of the protestors at the March on Washington (1963) Police and protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965) King speaks at an anti-Vietnam War rally at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul (1967)

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Martin Luther King Jr. – A Historical Examination: The Death …

The Death of the Dream: The Day Martin Luther King Was Shot Left to right: Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph David Abernathy on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel Memphis hotel, a day before King’s assassination. April 3, 1968. The picture above has been shown millions of times. King, the day before his death, greeting his supporters. What is not publicly known is what happened the night before his death. Newsweek magazine from January 19, 1998 gives you a small glimpse of the real Martin Luther King Jr. Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65. (book reviews) Jon Meacham 01/19/98 Newsweek, Page 62 January 6, 1964, was a long day for Martin Luther King Jr. He spent the morning seated in the reserved section of the Supreme Court, listening as lawyers argued New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, a landmark case rising out of King’s crusade against segregation in Alabama. The minister was something of an honored guest: Justice Arthur Goldberg quietly sent down a copy of Kings account of the Montgomery bus boycott, “Stride Toward Freedom,” asking for an autograph. That night King retired to his room at the Willard Hotel. There FBI bugs reportedly picked up 14 hours of party chatter, the clinking of glasses and the sounds of illicit sex–including King’s cries of “I’m f–ing for God” and “I’m not a Negro tonight!” Note: What is not mentioned in this article is that Martin Luther King was having sex with three White women, one of whom he brutally beat while screaming the above mentioned quotes. Much of the public information on King’s use of church money to hire prostitutes and his beating them came from King’s close personal friend, Rev. Ralph Abernathy (pictured above), in his 1989 book, “And the walls came tumbling down.” Sources: Newsweek Magazine 1-19-1998, page 62 “And the walls came tumbling down,” by Rev. Ralph Abernathy (1989)

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Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) | New Georgia Encyclopedia

Early Life and Education, 1929-1955 Family, church, and education shaped King’s life from an early age. Michael Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, to Alberta Williams and Michael Luther King Sr. In 1934, after visiting Europe, Michael King Sr. changed his and his son’s name in honor of the sixteenth-century German church reformer Martin Luther. King spent his early years in the family home at 501 Auburn Avenue, about a block from Ebenezer Baptist Church. His maternal grandfather, A. D. Williams, was pastor at Ebenezer from 1894 until 1931. After Williams’s death, the elder King succeeded his father-in-law at the pulpit. King was educated in Atlanta, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1944. He then enrolled at Morehouse College,where Williams had studied. King first considered studying medicine or law but decided to major in sociology. He ultimately found the call to the ministry irresistible, however. He served as assistant to his father at Ebenezer while studying at Morehouse. In February 1948 King Sr. ordained his son as a Baptist minister. After graduating from Morehouse in June 1948, King studied for a divinity degree at Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania, and graduated in May 1951. The following September King enrolled in the Ph.D. program in systematic theologyat Boston University. There he met his future wife, Coretta Scott. King’s father preferred that his son marry an Atlanta woman and initially opposed King’s plans to marry Coretta. When King refused to back down, his father relented, and on June 18, 1953, he performed the marriage ceremony at the Scott family home in rural Perry County, Alabama. During his last year of residential studies at Boston University, King sought employment while he finished his dissertation. Through a family friend he learned of a vacant position at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King desired a pulpit in a southern city but also wanted to escape Atlanta and gain independence from his father, so he arranged a trial sermon. King was offered the position, and in 1954 he moved to Montgomery with Coretta. In June 1955 King received his Ph.D. The Kings’ first child, Yolanda Denise, was born November 17, 1955. At the meeting black leaders agreed on a one-day boycott. When this was successful, they agreed to extend the action. King was asked to head the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), a new organization formed to run the bus boycott. He had not planned to take a leading role, but he agreed to serve. The boycott ran for 381 days. Throughout, whites in Montgomery tried to stymie it. King and other MIA members were arrested. Segregationists even bombed King’s home. The intimidation strengthened the resolve of the black community. The initial demands of the MIA for a modified system of segregation on city buses evolved into a lawsuit that called for its total abolishment. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional. On December 21, 1956, King was among the first passengers to board an integrated bus. The bus boycott made King a national symbol of black protest. In the next few years he spoke alongside other national black leaders and met with U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower and a host of foreign dignitaries. In 1958 King published Stride toward Freedom, his account of the Montgomery boycott. His newfound recognition came at a price. In September 1958 a mentally ill black woman, Izola Ware Curry, stabbed King in the chest at a book signing in New York. King barely survived the injury. Earlier that month, police in Montgomery had again arrested King. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to take an interest in him, starting a covert surveillance of his activities that continued for the rest of his life. Learning from Albany, King and the SCLC carefully chose their next targetin 1963. In Birmingham, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) under the leadership of the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth provided an established local base for protest. Specific goals and a strategy for the movement were drawn up in advance. As expected, the Birmingham police chief Eugene “Bull” Connor met protestors with force, using police dogs and high-power fire hoses to break up demonstrations. The conflict brought national news headlines and federal intervention, and pulled local white businessmen to the negotiating table. The campaign made significant gains in desegregating downtown facilities and in opening up black employment opportunities, although segregationist violence in the city remained a serious problem. Arrested and jailed for eight days during the Birmingham campaign, King composed his well-known “Letter from Birmingham Jail” during his incarceration. Not everything went King’s way. After a surge in white violencein Birmingham,attempts to renew demonstrationsmet with stiff opposition and failed to make much headway.King lost a carefully cultivated federal ally whenU.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, though the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, proved equally if not more sympathetic with the civil rights movement. TheSCLClaunched a newcampaignin St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964, but it failed to win meaningful concessions for local blacks. King’s attempts to mediate the seating of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation at the 1964 Democratic Party convention failed as well. Around the same time the FBI stepped up its campaign of harassment and intimidation against King. As was often the case in King’s relatively short public career, victory and defeat, as well as advancement and setback, were never far apart. King responded to these developments in a variety of ways. He took the SCLC into the northern ghettos in an attempt to alleviate the conditions that caused the urban riots. He opposed much of the angry rhetoric of Black Power and continued to stress the importance of nonviolence. He spoke out ever more stridently in opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He opposed conservative politicians who sought to exploit white racial fears. He also gained new insight about black problems in the United States as the movement shifted from tackling segregation to confronting the problem of racial discrimination. In 1965-66 the SCLC launched its first northern campaign in Chicago. King felt that the urban riots in northern cities underlined the need for SCLC assistance, focusing on such issues as black employment, housing, and education opportunities. The Chicago campaign highlighted the difficulties of fighting entrenched racism. The city was much bigger than previous communities in which the SCLC had worked. Discrimination was much more difficult to dramatize than segregation. SCLC funds declined, making operations even more problematic. Despite some successes, the SCLC failed to make the desired impact on black advancement in Chicago. King was selected as one of the inaugural honorees for the Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, a monument in Washington, D.C., that celebrates the efforts of national volunteer leaders. The pathway was unveiled in October 2005. In August 2011 a memorial to King was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the first on the Mall to honor either a nonpresident or an African American.

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