Friday, January 15, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1829


Atlanta, Georgia  (JFK+50) Eighty-seven years ago today, January 15, 1929, civil rights leader Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. was born at 501 Auburn Street here in Atlanta.  His father, Michael, changed his name to honor the German protestant religious leader, Martin Luther.  MLK, Jr.'s mother was Alberta Williams King.

The younger King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 with a B.A. in Sociology.  He earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania 3 years later.

M.L. King married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953 and received his PhD from Boston University in 1955, the same year he led the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott.

Dr. King served as pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery before becoming co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

MLK became the leader of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
His philosophy of non-violent protest in the movement was patterned after that of Mohandas Gandhi.

During the March on Washington for equal rights in August 1963, Dr. King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech which is considered to be his best. Afterward, King and other civil rights leaders met with President Kennedy at the White House.  JFK greeted them with the words: "I have a dream."

In 1964, MLK was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in the following years, while continuing to lead the civil rights movement, became an opponent of the war in Vietnam.

Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel, which is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial overlooking the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. was dedicated on October 16, 2011.  The memorial, by Lei Yixin of the People's Republic of China, is composed of 159 granite blocks and was built at a cost of $120 million.

At the dedication ceremonies, President Barack Obama said...

"In this place (Dr. King) will stand for all time, a black preacher with no official rank or title who gave voice to our deepest dreams and our most lasting ideals."

MLK's Birthplace
Atlanta, Georgia
Photo by John White (2008)

Martin Luther King Memorial
Photo by John White (2011)