Important Dates in the Life Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1929 - Born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15 to Alberta Williams King and Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.
1935-1944 - Dr. King attended and finished his early education at David T. Howard Elementary School and Atlanta University Laboratory School. He attended Booker T. Washington High School and left before graduation due to his acceptance and early admission in Atlanta's Morehouse College program for advanced placement in the Fall of 1944. He was 15 years of age.
1947 - Dr. King decided to become a minister and delivered his first prepared sermon in his father's church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, at age 18 in the Summer of 1947.
1948 - Dr. King was ordained as a Baptist minister and received his B.A. degree in Sociology from Morehouse College at age 19. In September, he entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.Inspired by the preachings of Dr. A.J. Muste and Dr. Mordecai Johnson on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King was moved to study intensely Gandhi's writings and movement while still a student at Crozer, September 1948 - June 1951.
1951 - Dr. King graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary with his B.D. degree at age 22 in June.
1953 -Dr. King married Coretta Scott, June 18, 1953.
1954 -Dr. King became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Church in Montgomery, Alabama on October 31, 1954.
1955 -After Rosa Parks, a 42 year old seamstress, refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus and arrested, Dr. King became involved and organized the Montgomery Improvement Association, which elected him president. On December 5, the famous boycott was started. This was the catalytic event which started Dr. King on the road to become America's crusader and most famous civil rights leader.
1956 - Dr. King's home was bombed January 30, 1956 - no one was hurt.
1957 - On January 12, mostly concerned ministers, labor leaders, lawyers, and activists formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Dr. King was elected president, February 14, 1957.
1958 - Dr. King was almost killed by a deranged black woman, who stabbed him as he was autographing his new book in a department store in Harlem, New York, September 20, 1958.
1959 - Dr. King was arrested for breaking the state of Georgia's trespassing law while picketing. He was transferred to Reidsville State Prison but released on $2000 bond on October 19, 1960.
1963 - Sit-in demonstrations held in Birmingham, Alabama to protest public accommodations in eating facilities. Dr. King arrested during one on April 12.
•While in a Birmingham jail cell, Dr. King wrote about his concerns and criticism on the pace of justice in civil rights for Black Americans. These thoughts were expressed in his moving "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
•On August 28, 1963, after meeting with President John F. Kennedy, Dr. King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd estimated at 250,000.
1964 - Time Magazine honored Dr. King as "Man of the Year" with a feature story and cover photo on January 3.
•Dr. King at the White House while President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Accommodation and Fair Employment sections to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2.
•On December 10, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
1966 - Dr. King criticized against our government's policy in Vietnam on May 16.
1968 -The National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders (known as the Kerner Commission) came out with a statement concerning racism and riots in America on March 2, 1968.
•Dr. King went to Memphis, Tennessee to lead a march in support of striking sanitation workers, April 3.
•Dr. King delivered his last speech, entitled "I've Been to the Mountain Top," at the Mason Temple, the national headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3.
•On April 4, Dr. King's life was ended by an assassin's s bullet while he was on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.