Everyone knows that Martin Luther King was a pivotal and powerful voice during the civil rights movement--his inspiring legend lives on today in full force. With the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday now at hand, we thought you might enjoy knowing some of the lesser-known and interesting facts about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrate with us what would have been Martin Luther King’s 85th birthday!
- Martin Luther King was actually born Michael King, Jr. on January 15, 1929, being named after his father who also bore the same name, Michael King, Sr. MLK’s father became so inspired by a reformation leader named Martin Luther, that he decided later to change both of their names also to Martin Luther. MLK was five years old at this time.
- In 1948, Martin Luther King, Jr. was only one of eleven African-American students in attendance at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. After only one year, Martin Luther King, Jr. was so popular and well though of, that he was elected to be the class president.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested and went to jail 29 times, sometimes on completely ridiculous and trumped up charges. Some of the arrests included offenses such as civil disobedience, but once Dr. King was arrested for driving 30 mph in a 25 mph zone!
- In 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. was chosen to be Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” He was the very first African-American to hold this honor.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest man to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize, receiving this honor at the ripe old age of 35. Dr. King was said to have donated the over $50,000 in prize money to causes benefitting the civil rights movement.
- In the one year time period between 1967 and 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at over 2500 events and logged in over 6 million traveled miles.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was so smart that he was able to begin college at the age of fifteen.
- In the United States alone, there are more than 900 streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr. This number continues to rise!
- Legislation was created in 1968 making Martin Luther King Day a national holiday. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the only non-president that has a memorial in the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from your friends at Halloween Express!