Martin Luther King Jr. – 10 Things Your Child Should Know
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) is one of the most famous social activists who played a major and critical role in during the American civil rights movement. Here are 10 things that your child should know about this Nobel Peace Prize winner and Baptist minister.
1. Michael was his birth name, specifically Michael King Jr.
His father changed his name after he was inspired by Martin Luther, the famous Protestant Reformation leader.
2. He was only 15 when he entered college.
King was a very talented student that he did not have to go to grade 9 and 12. So when he started attending college, he was only 15 years old.
3. He received his Ph.D. degree in systematic theology.
After completing his divinity degree from the Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, the civil rights leader went on to attend graduate school at the Boston University. He completed his Ph. D. degree here for systematic theology and obtained where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1955. “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman” was the title of his dissertation.
4. The speech titled “I Have a Dream” isn’t the first one he gave at the Lincoln Memorial.
Many people think that the oration of King at the March on Washington was his first at the Lincoln Memorial, but it isn’t. Six years before this, he already gave a speech during the Great Emancipator.
5. He was in jail 29 times.
King was arrested almost 30 times for various charges, such as civil disobedience.
6. 10 years before his assassination, the civil rights leader narrowly escaped another assassination.
On the 20th of September, 1958, King was signing copies of his book titled “Stride Toward Freedom.” While doing so, a woman named Izola Ware Curry approached him and asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. When he said yes, Curry’s reply was “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” before plunging a 7-inch letter opener into King’s chest.
7. He foretold his death in his last public speech.
On the night before King was assassinated, he gave a speech, saying “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
8. King’s family believed that James Earl Ray did not act alone.
Coretta, King’s widow, believed that James Earl Ray was not the only person to have been involved in the murder. She believed that the government, including the local, the state, and the federal departments, together with the Mafia, were all part of the plan.
9. The Baptist minister’s mother was also killed by a bullet.
Alberta Williams King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s mother was playing the organ at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, when Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. began to fire his gun. She was struck by a bullet which killed her immediately.
10. King and George Washington are the only two Americans who have their birthdays observed as national holidays.
Aside from King’s birthday on the 15th of January, George Washington’s birthday is also celebrated as a national holiday.