MLK Day 2017: 10 Facts About Civil Rights Icon Martin Luther King Jr.

He was only 39 when he was assassinated

By Karl Utermohlen, InvestorPlace Writer

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2017 is almost upon us.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2017
Source: Flickr

In honor of the civil rights activist’s birthday, here are 10 facts you should know about Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

  • He received his Ph.D. degree on 1955 from Boston University with a dissertation on A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.
  • Everyone knows about the bravery of Rosa Parks, but Martin Luther King Jr. led a similar move in the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 where 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat to a white man, failing to follow Jim Crow laws. King was part of the committee that looked into this move, which paved the way for Rosa Park’s boycott.
  • King’s house was bombed as a response of the move.
  • He and other civil rights activist organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which helped to stage non-violent protests to advance African-American rights.
  • King spearheaded a number of movements to ensure African-Americans had the same rights as everyone else, including voting, desegregation and other civil rights.
  • He also worked with the Birmingham campaign to end racial segregation in the Alabama city.
  • “The American Race Crisis” is a series of lecture series that exists in the New School, and King delivered the first speech in the series in 1964. There are no recordings of this speech, but there is a copy of a questions and answers session after the talk.
  • King opposed the Vietnam War.
  • He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 as he was traveling to Memphis, Tennessee to support black sanitary public works employees.
  • Ronald Reagan passed Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

RIP MLK. Here are some things to remember him by.

The stock market will not be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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