7 Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King Jr

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr inspired young African Americans worldwide to restore peace and establish equality among races in society. However, his well-known work on civil rights has made us forget about the finer details of his work and his struggle to succeed in social reform. In this article, we have thrown light on some exciting facts about Martin Luther King Jr, which will inspire you to take steps to bring about societal changes. Read ahead to find out more information!

Luther’s original name

The social reform activist was born in 1929 and was initially named Micheal King Jr. His father and maternal grandfather were Baptists in a Baptist Church in Atlanta. Micheal followed in their footsteps and performed certain Baptist duties in his early days. However, when he visited Germany in 1934, he was inspired by the works of a reformation leader named Martin Luther. Later, he connected himself to the leader and started assuming his name Martin Luther King Jr.

Nobel Peace Prize

Martin Luther King got a Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35, which was then the youngest age for receiving such an honorary recognition. He practiced nonviolence and achieved his mission of curbing rational inequality through these methods. In addition, Luther donated 54,123 dollars to various NGOs and organizations to help in the civil rights movement.

Luther’s work from 1957 to 1968

In 1957, Luther was elected as the President of SCLC, dedicated to peacefully improving the civil rights movement. He was inspired by Gandhi’s teachings of nonviolence and marched over 6 million miles to preach the practice of racial indiscrimination through inspirational speeches and protests. In these 11 years, he also dedicated himself to writing books and articles on civil rights.

Luther was arrested 90 times.

Although Luther inspired many African Americans, he was still seen as a potential threat by American security, which often arrested him (around 30 times) for civil disobedience. His constant arrests and disobedience also involved the FBI investigating this SCLC and other campaigns led by Luther.

Luther has a national holiday under his name.

In 1988, twenty years after Luther’s assassination, President Ronald Reagan passed a bill to declare his day an American national holiday in his honor. Besides George Washington, he is the only American non-President with a national holiday under his name.


Luther was named ‘man of the year.’

During his educational days, Luther received around 20 degrees from different US colleges and universities, and in 1963, he was also given the title – ‘man of the year by Times Magazine. In those times, this meant a big deal and spread his popularity worldwide.

There are 900 streets named after him.

After Luther died in 1968, the US started to name and rename streets in his honor, followed by countries like Israel and Italy. As a result, the number of streets in his name is still increasing yearly.