Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. His legal name at birth was "Michael King". King's father was also born Michael King. The father "changed" both names on his own during a 1934 trip to Nazi Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the great German reformer Martin Luther.
Martin, Jr., was a middle child, between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King.
He was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Along with other great idealists and social reformers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, there is no doubt that Martin Luther King was awakened, in the sense defined in "The Leap: The psychology of spiritual awakening".. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.
A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career.He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; 
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
“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.”
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
King County, Washington used to be named in honor of William Rufus Devane King, Vice President of the United States under Pres. Franklin Pierce. In 1986, the King County Council voted to change it to be in honor Martin Luther King, Jr. instead. This did not become official until passed by the state legislature in 2005.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.
Schools, roads and other features have been named in his honor throughout the USA after his assassination in 1968.
His "I Have a Dream" speech (the written part) was not finished until 3:30 am the morning of the speech. He still made it to the march. The officials thought legislation would be harmed and that dogs would have to be turned lose, hoses would be turned on and there would be mass problems. None of these happened. None of the plugs had to be pulled even. He read his speech but the I have a dream part was not on the paper. After reading what was written, he began to speak and that is when they listened. He is quoted as saying "The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict." Meltzer, Brad, Heroes for my son, pgs 20-21, Harper Collins Publishing
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