Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was famous for leading the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. He advocated for African-Americans, women and veterans through non-violent means, including marches, sit-ins, public speeches and boycotts. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.Continue Reading
In December of 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person. Dr. King and other civil rights leaders met with Ms. Parks after her arrest to plan the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted 385 days. It ended when the U.S. District Court ruled to end segregation on all Montgomery public buses. Dr. King led the protest, which resulted in him being arrested and his home being bombed, and it also put him in the national spotlight.
Dr. King was arrested and beaten several times during his life, but he remained non-violent, which gained him widespread support and attention throughout the world. He drew from his background as a Christian and from the guidance of Gandhi’s teachings to encourage more non-violent protests, such as the first sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina.
For the remainder of his life, he traveled millions of miles and gave thousands of speeches. His most famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” was delivered in front of 250,000 people in Washington, D.C. during the March on Washington in 1963. He wrote articles and books, and he was named man of the year by “TIME Magazine." Until 1992, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.Learn more about US History