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Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Carole
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« on: January 15, 2008, 03:11:30 pm »



Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Carole
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2008, 03:12:30 pm »

Date of birth: January 15, 1929(1929-01-15)
Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Date of death: April 4, 1968 (aged 39)
Place of death: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Movement: African-American Civil Rights Movement and Peace Movement
Major organizations: Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Notable prizes: Nobel Peace Prize (1964)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977, posthumous)
Congressional Gold Medal (2004, posthumous)
Major monuments: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (planned)
Religion: Baptist
Influences Mahatma Gandhi, Bayard Rustin
Influenced Coretta Scott King, Jesse Jackson
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Carole
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2008, 03:13:04 pm »

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929–April 4, 1968), was one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement. A Baptist minister by training, King became a civil rights activist early in his career, leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helping to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, raising public consciousness of the civil rights movement and establishing King as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Martin Luther King Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986. In 2004, King was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.

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Carole
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2008, 03:14:19 pm »

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Although Dr. King's name was mistakenly recorded as "Michael King" on his birth certificate, this was not discovered until 1934, when his father applied for a passport. He had an older sister, Willie Christine (September 11, 1927) and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel (July 30, 1930 – July 1, 1969). King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind. He entered Morehouse College at age fifteen, skipping his ninth and twelfth high school grades without formally graduating. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree in 1951. In September 1951, King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) on June 5, 1955.

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Carole
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2008, 09:55:25 pm »


In 1953, at age 24, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to comply with the Jim Crow laws that required her to give up her seat to a white man. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by E. D. Nixon (head of the Montgomery NAACP chapter and a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) and led by King, soon followed. (In March 1955, a 15 year old school girl, Claudette Colvin, suffered the same fate, but King did not become involved.) The boycott lasted for 381 days, the situation becoming so tense that King's house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States Supreme Court decision outlawing racial segregation on all public transport.

King was instrumental in the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, a group created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. King continued to dominate the organization. King was an adherent of the philosophies of nonviolent civil disobedience used successfully in India by Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, and he applied this philosophy to the protests organized by the SCLC. In 1959, he wrote The Measure of A Man, from which the piece What is Man?, an attempt to sketch the optimal political, social, and economic structure of society, is derived.

Attributing his inspiration for non-violent activism to the example of Mahatma Gandhi, he visited the Gandhi family in India in 1959, with assistance from the Quaker group, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The trip to India affected King in a profound way, deepening his understanding of nonviolent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, “Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation.”
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Carole
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 09:56:45 pm »



The FBI began wiretapping King in 1961, fearing that Communists were trying to infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, but when no such evidence emerged, the bureau used the incidental details caught on tape over six years in attempts to force King out of the preeminent leadership position.

King correctly recognized that organized, nonviolent protest against the system of southern segregation known as Jim Crow laws would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for black equality and voting rights. Journalistic accounts and televised footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights workers and marchers, produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion that made the Civil Rights Movement the single most important issue in American politics in the early 1960s.

King organized and led marches for blacks' right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into United States law with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

King and the SCLC applied the principles of nonviolent protest with great success by strategically choosing the method of protest and the places in which protests were carried out in often dramatic stand-offs with segregationist authorities. Sometimes these confrontations turned violent. King and the SCLC were instrumental in the unsuccessful Albany Movement in Albany, Georgia, in 1961 and 1962, where divisions within the black community and the canny, low-key response by local government defeated efforts; in the Birmingham protests in the summer of 1963; and in the protest in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964. King and the SCLC joined forces with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, Alabama, in December 1964, where SNCC had been working on voter registration for several months.
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Carole
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2008, 09:58:09 pm »



Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington.
Photo by Warren K. Leffler
Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection.
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.03130

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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2008, 09:59:22 pm »

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech advocating racial harmony at the Lincoln Memorial during the march. Approximately 250,000 people took part in the march; it is estimated that 200,000 were African American and 50,000 were white.

The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations. Following the march, the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the National Voting Rights Act (1965) were passed.

This march was initiated by A. Philip Randolph (international president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, president of the Negro American Labor Council, and vice president of the AFL-CIO), who had planned a similar march in 1941. The threat of the earlier march had convinced President Roosevelt to establish the Committee on Fair Employment Practice and bar discriminatory hiring in the defense industry.

The 1963 march was organized by Randolph, James Farmer (president of the Congress of Racial Equality), John Lewis (president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), King (president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), Roy Wilkins (president of the NAACP), and Whitney Young (president of the National Urban League). Bayard Rustin, a civil rights veteran and organizer of the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, the first of the Freedom Rides to test the Supreme Court ruling that banned racial discrimination in interstate travel, administered the details of the march.

The march was not universally supported among African-Americans. Some civil rights activists were concerned that it might turn violent, which could undermine pending legislation and damage the international image of the movement. The march was condemned by Malcolm X, spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, who termed it the "farce on Washington".

March organizers themselves disagreed over the purpose of the march. The NAACP and Urban League saw it as a gesture of support for a civil rights bill that had been introduced by the Kennedy Administration. Randolph, King, and the SCLC saw it as a way of raising both civil rights and economic issues to national attention beyond the Kennedy bill. SNCC and CORE saw it as a way of challenging and condemning the Kennedy administration's inaction and lack of support for civil rights for African-Americans.
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 10:00:20 pm »



Demonstrator at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963.

Credit: National Archives and Records Administration.

Source: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail439.html

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Carole
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 10:01:31 pm »

National media attention greatly contributed to the march's national exposure and probable impact. In his section "The March on Washington and Television News," William Thomas notes: "Over five hundred cameramen, technicians, and correspondents from the major networks were set to cover the event. More cameras would be set up than had filmed the last Presidential inauguration. One camera was positioned high in the Washington Monument, to give dramatic vistas of the marchers". By carrying the organizers' speeches and offering their own commentary, television stations literally framed the way their local audiences saw and understood the event.

On August 28, more than 2,000 buses, 21 special trains, 10 chartered airliners, and uncounted autos converged on Washington. The regularly scheduled planes, trains, and buses were also filled to capacity. Crowd estimates ranged from 200,000 to 350,000.

To the surprise of the march's leaders, who were meeting with members of Congress, the assembled group begin to march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial without them when the march failed to start on time.

Although one of the officially stated purposes of the march was to support the civil rights bill introduced by the Kennedy Administration, several of the speakers criticized the proposed law as insufficient. John Lewis said that without "meaningful legislation," Blacks would "march through the South." (His original speech, edited at the insistence of older leaders, had gone on: "through the heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own scorched earth policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground nonviolently.") Floyd McKissick read James Farmer's speech because Farmer had been arrested during a protest in Louisiana; Farmer had written that the protests would not stop "until the dogs stop biting us in the South and rats stop biting us in the North."

The march is widely credited as a major factor leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the National Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 10:03:35 pm »



Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Marchers at the Lincoln Memorial.], August 28, 1963.
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2008, 10:04:44 pm »


Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., Leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963.

In the front row, from left are: Whitney M. Young, Jr., Executive Director of the National Urban League; Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; A. Philip Randolph, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, American Federation of Labor (AFL), and a former vice president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); Walter P. Reuther, President, United Auto Workers Union; and Arnold Aronson, Secretary of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2008, 10:06:09 pm »



Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.[Author James Baldwin and actor Marlon Brando.], 08/28/1963
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2008, 10:07:22 pm »



Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Author James Baldwin with actors Marlon Brando and Charlton Heston.], 08/28/1963
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2008, 10:08:36 pm »



This United States Information Agency photograph of the March on Washington, August 28, 1963, shows civil rights and union leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph L. Rauh Jr., Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, and Walter Reuther. (80-G-413998)
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