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| Martin Luther King Jr. Time Line | Resources for studying Black History | I Have a Dream Speech |
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. The family lived in Georgia. His father was minister Ebenezer Baptist Church. Martin enter school when he was five. He skipped the ninth grade when he went to high school. He graduated and went to Morehouse College in 1944. He was 15 years old when he entered college. He was very popular in college. He had a C+ average at Morehouse.

He met Coretta Scott in 1952. She was a singer. Later Martin ask Coretta to marry him. King's parents were against the marriage by finally consented and gave them their blessings. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta had four children' Yolanda, Martin Luther III, Dexter, and Bernice

In 1954, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. The next year was the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Birmingham bus. King became president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. This put him in a leadership position in the Civil Rights Movement. King was arrested for his part in the protest and his home was bombed. Martin was a great speaker and encouraged people during the boycott. Close to a hundred other black people were arrested during the boycott. They won when the Supreme court found bus segregation illegal.

After the bombing of five churches in Alabama, King help create the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He became president of SCLC. The group believed in fighting racism, segregation and hatred. As part of their plan the held sit-ins at restaurants and businesses that wouldn't serve black people. One of the most famous sit-ins was at Woolworths. King also started other nonviolent protests against segregation.

In 1962, King was involved in protest in Birmingham. The chief of police was Eugene "Bull" Connor who was a strong supporter of segregation. Connor used police dogs to attack the protesters. The pictures of the dogs attacking the protesters was shown on tv throughout the US and helped the protesters. King was arrested again. While in jail he wrote his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

In 1963, King planned a massive nonviolent protest in the nation's capital. The peaceful demonstration drew some 200,000 blacks and whites to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and King gave his most famous speech "I Have a Dream" speech.

In October of 1964, King entered a hospital in Atlanta. While he was in the hospital, King learned he had received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964. He was 35-years old. Earlier that year, King became the first black American to be named Time magazine's "Man of the Year." Journalists and politicians from around the world turned to King for his views on a wide range of issues.

In 1968, while in Tennessee to support sanitation workers, King was shot and killed on the balcony outside his motel room. On April 9 King's funeral was held in Ebenezer; in addition to the 800 people crammed into the sanctuary, a crowd of 60,000 to 70,000 stood in the streets. He was buried in Southview Cemetery, near his grandmother. On his tomb are the words he often used “Free At Last, Free At Last Thank God Almighty I'm Free At Last” In 1986 Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday became a national holiday.