14 fascinating facts about the King

By Nicole Henry, Contributing Writer

            I Have a Dream, one of the most exceptional and influential speeches of all time given by historical legend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  King is best known for this speech and it created an everlasting effect on America, so effective that we even celebrate him for it today. In honor of his life, here are some interesting facts about the King.

  1. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga. to Reverend Michael, “Martin” Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. King was actually born as Michael King Jr. and later adopted the name Martin. His father Michael King, Sr. became a powerful minister and adopted the name Martin in honor of religious leader Martin Luther. Since King, Jr was named after his father and followed in his foot-steps; he too adopted the name Martin.
  2. When King was younger, he allegedly attempted to commit suicide. It turns out that he went to a parade without his parent’s permission. While he was there, his grand-mother, Jennie, passed away. His great sadness due to him not being there while she died led him to jump out of a second story window in attempt to commit suicide.
  3. King went to Booker T. Washington High School. He was known as a studious and prospering student and was able to skip tenth and eleventh grade. He then went on to Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Ga. at the young age of 15.
  4. King earned a sociology degree at Morehouse College and attended the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pa. King was also valedictorian and student body president of his class in 1951.
  5. King attended Boston University for his doctorate degree. During his time of study at Boston University, King met Coretta Scott, who was an aspiring singer and musician.
  6. King is known for being a minister as well as a civil-rights leader, but in his early years he questioned his religion and felt uncomfortable with really expressing oneself to God in worship. After taking a bible class during high school, he renewed his faith and decided he wanted to go into ministry.
  7. At the age of 25, King earned his doctorate degree and became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Al.
  8. King and Coretta were married in June of 1953 and had four children. One of the sons also carried the name Martin, becoming the third of the Kings.
  9. King was 35 years old when he won the Nobel Peace prize and is still the youngest male to ever win.
  10. King was awarded a Grammy in 1971 for his Best Spoken Word Album “Why I Oppose War in Vietnam”.
  11. During his autopsy, doctors found that King had a heart of a 60 year old, yet he was only 39 years old.
  12. King never believed he would live to see the age of 40 and he died at the age of 39.
  13. In the proclamation of Hawaii’s Let Freedom Ring Day,  the Governor wrote the following statement: “Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Nobel Peace Prize lecture and ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ are among the most revered orations and writings in the English language”.
  14. The article “20 Interesting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Facts” states, “It wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The last states to join up where Arizona in 1992, New Hampshire in 1999, and Utah in 2000.  The holiday itself was originally signed into federal law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, with the first MLK holiday on Jan. 20, 1986”.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”- Martin Luther King, Jr.