Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Join us in remembering and celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Through his leadership, he achieved genuine progress toward racial equality in America than there had been in the past 350 years. He remains one of the most outstanding advocates for nonviolence.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a civil rights protest in which African-Americans refused to ride the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system.
Martin Luther King Jr. became the protest's leader and official spokesman. This entered him into the spotlight as a figure of inspirational and nonviolent resistance.
March on Washington
August 28, 1963, 250,000 people gathered at the Capitol for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march brought people together to stand up for social and political injustice. There was a list of "Ten Demands" from the sponsors, insisting on a fair living wage, fair employment policies, and desegregation of school districts.
Dr. King agreed to speak last at the march and had only intended to speak for four minutes. His famous "I Have a Dream" speech hadn't been planned. Gospel speaker, Mahalia Jackson, who had been seated behind Dr. King called out, "Tell 'em about the dream, Martin!" Dr. King then launched into his most remembered part of his speech about his dream of everyone coming together, joining hands, and being free at last.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
Dr. King used the phrase 'I have a dream' eight times in his speech. One phrase was, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."
Nobel Peace Prize
At 35, Dr. King receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice. He was the youngest person to ever receive this award.
October 22, 1964, after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, King spoke at Oberlin College, delivering his speech, “The Future of Integration.” This was the address where he urged over 2,500 students “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Did you Know?
It took 32 years to fight to make Dr. King's birthday a holiday. By 2000, all 50 states made it a state government holiday. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is now celebrated on the third Monday of January. The first federal holiday was celebrated in 1986.
SOURCE: National Constitution Center
❝ The time is always right to do what is right. ❞