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EBONY - April 2018

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

from the Pages of EBONY

  • 1929-1953: The Early King Years

  • 1929

    January 15

    Martin Luther King Jr. is second of three children born to the Rev Martin Luther King, Sr. and Mrs. Alberta Christine Williams King in Atlanta.

  • 1944

    He enters Morehouse College at age 15 after passing entrance examination and skipping 12th grade.

  • 1948

    February 25

    He is ordained to the Baptist ministry.

  • 1948

    He graduates at 19 from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. That fall he enters Crozer Theological Seminary where he is one of six Black students. He graduates in 1951 with an A average.

  • 1953

    June 19

    He marries Coretta Scott in Marion, AL. His father officiated.

  • 1954-1960: The Rise of King

  • 1954

    Martin Luther King, Jr becomes full-time pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL

    Racial segregation in public schools is declared unconstitutional by U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously in the Brown V. Board of Education case. That same year, Dr. King becomes full-time pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL.

  • 1955

    Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks

    In December, Mrs. Rosa Parks is arrested and charged with violating Montgomery city segregation code after refusing to relinquish her seat to a white man, spawning the Montgomery Bus Boycott. That same year, Dr. King's first child, Yolanda Denise is born.

  • 1956

    January 26

    Dr. King is arrested and charged with driving 30mph in a 25mph zone in Montgomery. After being jailed for the first time in his life, he is released on his own recognizance.

    January 30

    A bomb is thrown on the porch of Dr. King's Montgomery home while he is away addressing a mass meeting. No one is injured and Dr. King calms and disperses the angry crowd that gathers.

    February 21

    Dr. King and others are indicted in Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Dr. King and others are indicted in Montgomery Bus Boycott

    June 4

    Racial segregation on city bus lines is ruled unconstitutional by a US District Court

    November 13

    The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the decision of the U.S. District Court in declaring unconstitutional Alabama's state and local bus segregation laws.

    December 21

    Montgomery city buses are integrated for the first time.

  • 1957

    January 10 - 11

    Dr. King is elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at founding meeting.

    May 17

    Dr. King delivers the speech, Give Us the Ballot at Lincoln Memorial

    Dr. King delivers the speech, "Give Us the Ballot" at Lincoln Memorial during Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on the third anniversary of US Supreme Court's desegregation decision.


    President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatches 101st Airborne Division of Arkansas National Guard to escort nine Black students integrating all-White Central High School in Little Rock.

    Dr King also began a recurring advice column in EBONY magazine, featured September 1957 - December 1958.

    Oct 23

    The King's second child, Martin Luther III, is born.

  • 1958

    September 3

    Martin Luther King, Jr charged with loitering near the Montgomery Recorder's Court

    He is arrested for a third time and charged with loitering near the Montgomery Recorder's Court.


    Martin Luther King, Jr receives first aid treatment after being stabbed in the chest

    Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, Dr. King's first book, is published. Izola Curry stabs Dr. King while he is autographing his book in Harlem.

  • 1959

    Vising with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru

    Dr. and Mrs. King spend a month in India studying Ghandi's techniques of nonviolence.

  • 1960

    January 24

    He becomes co-pastor, with his father, of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

    February 17

    Dr. King is issued an arrest warrant charging perjury in filing his 1956 and 1958 Alabama state taxes. He is acquitted in May of the charge.

    October 19

    In Atlanta, Dr. King and 51 others are arrested for participating in a sit-in and are jailed on charges of violating the state's trespass law. Charges are dropped three days later, and all demonstrators are released except Dr. King. He is held on charges of violating a probated sentence in a September 1960 traffic case. He is transferred to the Dekalb County Jail and then to Reidsville State Prison.

    On October 27, Dr. King is released on $2,000 appeal bond after Robert F. Kennedy, then campaign manager for presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, intervened.

  • 1961-1967: King-Unstoppable

  • 1961

    January 30

    The King's third child, Dexter Scott, is born in Atlanta.

    May 4

    Freedom Riders, organized by CORE to integrate interstate buses, leave Washington, DC, on a Greyhound bus shortly after the Supreme Court outlaws segregation in interstate transportation. On May 14, racists bomb and burn the bus near Anniston, AL and the riders are attacked in Birmingham. On May 20, a new group of Freedom Riders is assaulted in Montgomery. Attorney General Robert Kennedy sends 400 US Marshals to Birmingham to maintain order.

    December 16

    At an Albany demonstration, Dr. King is arrested and charged with obstructing sidewalk and parading without permit. In February 1962, he is convicted of leading the Albany march.

  • 1962

    July 27

    At an Albany city hall prayer vigil, Dr. King is arrested and charged with failure to obey a police officer, obstructing the sidewalk and disorderly conduct.

    October 16

    Dr. King meets with President John F. Kennedy

    Dr. King meets with President John F. Kennedy at the White House.

  • 1963

    March 28

    Bernice Albertine, the King's fourth child, is born.

    April 3

    Dr. King opens the Birmingham campaign to protest segregation. He and Dr. Abernathy and 53 demonstrators are jaled on April 12. It is on April 16 Dr. King writes his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" during his imprisonment.

    June 12

    Medgar Evers, NAACP leader in Jackson, MS, is assassinated before dawn by a rifle bullet at his home.

    August 28

    The March on Washington, is held, Dr. King delivers his I Have a Dream speech

    The largest integrated mass protest, The March on Washington, is held, Dr. King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech before 250,000 at the Lincoln Memorial

    September 15

    Four children attending Sunday School at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham are killed and 21 others are injured when the church is bombed.

    November 22

    President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

  • 1964


    Dr. King's fifth book, Why We Can't Wait, is published.


    At Soldier Field in Chicago, Dr. King addresses 75,000 persons at a civil rights rally organized by an interracial, interfaith citizen group.

    June 20

    WGN- Martin Luther King Jr. at 1964 Rally Talks About JFK's Stance on Civil Rights and his Assassination at the Illinois 'I Have a Dream' Civil Rights Rally at Soldier Field on June 21, 1964.

    June 11

    With Rev. Abernathy and a party of 16, Dr. King stages a sit-in at an exclusive restaurant in St. Augustine, FL, Dr. King is arrested for the 12th time and charged wit violating Florida's "unwanted guest law."

    July 2

    Dr. King meets with President Johnson

    Dr. King is present at the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House. The bill, which guaranteed acces to public accommodations, was submitted to Congress by President Kennedy.

    December 10

    Dr. King wins the Nobel Peace Prize

    In Oslo, Norway, Dr. King receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • 1965

    February 21

    Malcom X is assassinated in Audubon Ballroom in New York City.

    March 21-25

    3,000 civil rights marchers leave Selma for Montgomery

    Protected by federal troops, more than 3,000 civil rights marchers leave Selma for Montgomery. Along the way, they are joined by 25,000 marchers on reaching the Alabama State Capitol and are addressed by Dr. King.

    August 6

    President Johnson signs the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

  • 1966

    Dr. King launches a campaign to integrate housing in Chicago

    In 1966, Dr. King moves into an inner city neighborhood on Chicago's West Side. In July, Dr. King launches a campaign to integrate housing in Chicago. In August, Dr. King is stoned by angry Whites leading a marc through Chicago's Gage Park area.

    AUG 13,1966

    Jul 23, 1965

    WGN- Martin Luther King Tells the Crowd Now Is the Time For Change In Chicago in the summer of 1965.

    Aug 13, 1966

    WGN- A white man holding 'Repeal Civil Rights Act' sign talks to a WGN-TV reporter about African American families moving into white neighborhoods in Chicago in 1966. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders led several marches and demonstrations in Chicago during the summer of 1966, known as The Chicago Freedom Movement or the Chicago Open Housing Movement.

  • 1967

    Dr. King completes his sixth book, Where Do we Go from Here?

    october 30

    U.S. Supreme Court upholds the contempt of court convictions of Dr. King and seven others who led 1963 marches in Birmingham. They serve four-day jail sentences.

    November 27

    Dr. King announces SCLC's "Poor People's Campaign."

  • 1968: Farewell King

  • 1968

    March 28

    Dr. King leads 6,000 civil rights protestors on a march through downtown Memphis

    In the spring of 1968, Dr. King leads 6,000 civil rights protestors on a march through downtown Memphis in support of sanitation workers' strike.

    April 3

    At the Memphis Masonic Temple, Dr. King delivers the speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop."

  • 1968

    April 4

    Dr. King is shot in the neck by a sniper and dies at St. Joseph's Hospital

    As Dr. King stands talking on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Dr. King is shot in the neck by a sniper and dies at St. Joseph's Hospital. James Earl Ray is later convicted of the murder.