Dr. Martin Luther King was an influential leader during the 1950s and 1960s. We honor him because of his contributions to all Americans by fighting for equal rights for African Americans and other minority groups in this country. Dr. King’s legacy has been far reaching. The article below is an excerpt from World Book Online.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. (1929-1968), an African American Baptist minister, was the main leader of the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950’s and 1960’s. He had a magnificent speaking ability, which enabled him to effectively express the demands of African Americans for social justice. King’s eloquent pleas won the support of millions of people—blacks and whites—and made him internationally famous. He won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for leading nonviolent civil rights demonstrations.
In spite of King’s stress on nonviolence, he often became the target of violence. White racists bombed his home in Montgomery, Alabama, and threw rocks at him in Chicago. Finally, violence ended King’s life at the age of 39, when an assassin shot and killed him.
Some historians view King’s death as the end of the civil rights era that began in the mid-1950’s. Under his leadership, the civil rights movement won wide support among whites, and laws that had barred integration in the Southern States were abolished. King became only the second American whose birthday is observed as a national holiday. The first was George Washington, the nation’s first president.
King based his program of nonviolence on Christian teachings. He wrote five books: Stride Toward Freedom (1958), Strength to Love (1963), Why We Can’t Wait (1964), Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967), and The Trumpet of Conscience (1968).
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World Book Online MLA style:
Garrow, David J. “King, Martin Luther, Jr..” World Book Student. World Book, 2017. Web. 14 Jan. 2017.
Martin Luther King Day “It isn’t a day off, but a day of service to others.”