Some interesting facts about Martin Luther King Jr. include that his name originally was Michael, he jumped from a second story window at age 12 in an apparent suicide attempt, and he was the target of a murder attempt in 1958 when a woman stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener. In 1968 when an assassin shot King to death, he was on the motel balcony to smoke a cigaretteContinue Reading
King skipped 9th and 11th grades, entered college at 15 and wasn't sure at first if he would be a Christian minister like his father and grandfather. While people perceive King as a powerful speaker, he got a C in public speaking at the theological seminary he attended. He and his wife spent their honeymoon at a funeral parlor because a friend lent it to him. He urged "Star Trek" star Nicole Nichols, a black woman, to continue in her role as Uhura because the show portrayed her an intelligent and equal member of the crew.
King is the youngest male to win the Nobel Peace Prize, as of 2015. He donated the $54,123 he won to the Civil Rights movements. Only two other people have a national holiday in their honor, George Washington and Christopher Columbus. All 50 states recognized the holiday by 2000 when Utah did so. More than 700 streets in the United States are named in King's honor. The U.S. FBI reportedly threatened to blackmail King, but the records are sealed until 2027.Learn more about US History