Yolanda Denise, the first child of Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King, was born on Nov. 17, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. Her brother, Martin Luther III, was born in the same city on Oct. 23, 1957. The youngest two children, Dexter Scott and Bernice Albertine, were born in Atlanta, Georgia, on Jan. 30, 1961 and March 28, 1963, respectively.
Rev. King was pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery when his first child Yolanda was born. Only a couple of weeks later, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, and racial tension started to escalate in the city. Martin Luther King was thrust into the middle of the situation when activists who organized the subsequent bus boycott chose him as their leader and spokesman.
The same year Martin Luther III was born, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was formed, and Martin Luther King became its president. He was devoted to the civil rights cause, which took him away from home and his two young children a great deal of the time.
The year prior to Dexter's birth, the family moved to Atlanta, where Rev. King became co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He continued traveling the world and was arrested numerous times for his participation in marches and protests.
Bernice arrived during a very busy time for her father. Mere weeks after her birth, he was in a Birmingham jail for his part in the city's civil rights campaign. That summer, he helped organize the March on Washington, at which he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.