Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested on Oct. 19, 1960, after refusing to leave the lunch counter of a department store in Atlanta. He and 75 of his followers had been denied lunch at the counter because of the local policies on segregation.
The charges were eventually dropped because the mayor of Atlanta did not want the city getting a poor reputation. Following his release from prison, Dr. King was imprisoned again because his probation for a traffic conviction had been violated. This time, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy personally intervened, citing the poor treatment of Dr. King in what was a routine traffic ticket. King was released soon thereafter due to political pressure.