1929 - Born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15 to Alberta Williams
King and Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr.
- 1944 - Young Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King
attended and finished his early education at David T. Howard
Elementary School and Atlanta University Laboratory School.
He attended Booker T. Washington High School and left before
graduation due to his acceptance and early admission in
Atlanta's Morehouse College program for advanced placement
In the Fall of 1944. He was 15 years of age.
1942 - James Farmer organized C.O.R.E. (The Congress of Racial
1943 - The first lunch counter sit-ins took place in Chicago,
Illinois at Jack Spratt's Coffee Shop, May 14.
1946 - The U.S. Supreme Court banned segregation in interstate
bus travel on June 3.
1946 - Race riots occurred in Athens, Alabama on Aug 10 and in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 29.
1946 - The National Committee on Civil Rights was created by
President Harry Truman to investigate racism in America,
1947 - "Freedom Riders" made up of an interracial group
tested the laws of interstate bus travel in the segregated
South, April 9.
1947 - Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play
major league baseball as a third baseman for the Brooklyn
Dodgers club, April 15.
1947 - Dr. King decided to become a minister and delivered his
first prepared sermon in his father's church, Ebenezer Baptist
Church in Atlanta, at age 18.
1947 - President Truman's Committee on Civil Rights condemned
racial injustices towards Blacks in America. A report was
issued on October 29, entitled "To Secure These Rights."
1948 - A. Philip Randolph pointed the way for nonviolent protest
to segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces, March 31.
1948 - Dr. King was ordained as a Baptist minister and received
his B.A. degree in Sociology from Morehouse College in June
at the age of 19. In September he entered Crozer Theological
Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
1949 - William L. Dawson, Democratic Congressman from Illinois,
became the first Black to head a standing committee in Congress
as Chairperson of the House Expenditures Committee, January
1951 - Dr. King graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary with
his B.D. degree at age 22 in June.
1953 - Dr. King married Coretta Scott on June 18.
1953 - The first bus boycott started in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
in on June 19,
1953 - Riots erupted in Chicago at Thrumbull Park Housing project
site on August 4.
1954 - Dr. King became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Church in
Montgomery, Alabama on October 31
1955 - Dr. King received his Ph.D in Systematic Theology from
Boston University on June 5.
1955 - Emmett Till, age 14, was lynched and brutally defaced
in Money, Mississippi on August 28.
1955 - Dr. King's first child was born - Yolanada Denise (born
in Montgomery, Alabama, November 17)
1955 - The Interstate Commerce Commission banned segregation
in buses and all waiting rooms involved in interstate travel,
1955 - Mrs. Rosa Parks, a 42 year old seamstress, refused to
give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus
and was arrested. Dr. King became involved in the incident.
As a means of protest the Montgomery Improvement Association
was organized, December 4, 1955. Dr. King was elected president.
On December 5, 1955, the famous boycott was started. This
was the catalytic event which started Dr. King on the road
to become America's crusader and most famous civil rights
1956 - Dr. King's home was bombed January 30, 1956 - no one was
1956 - On February 21, a suit was filed in U.S. District Court
asking that Montgomery's segregation laws be declared unconstitutional.
On June 4 the U.S. District Court ruled that racial segregation
on the city bus line was unconstitutional. On November 13,
the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this ruling prohibiting
segregation on buses by declaring Alabama's laws unconstitutional.
Montgomery's victory came on December 21, 1956 when, for
the first time, black passengers could legally take any
seat on the city's buses. Public buses were finally desegregated.
1956 - On Deceber 27, Tallahassee, Florida followed and desegregated
its buses after a six month boycott.
1957 - An unexploded bomb was discovered on Dr. King's front
porch on January 27.
- On January 12, mostly concerned ministers, labor leaders,
lawyers, and activists got together and formed the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in an effort to gain
information and strategy for ending segregation in their
cities and towns. The meeting was held in New Orleans, Louisiana,
and Dr. King was elected president, February 14.
1957 - The Congress of the United States passed the Civil Rights
Act of 1957 on September 9. This was the first civil rights
legislation since 1875.
1957 - President Eisenhower sent in federal troops to enforce
court-ordered integration of Little Rock Arkansas' schools.
Nine black students were escorted into the school by court
order on September 24 and 25.
1957 - Martin Luther King III was born on October 23.
1958 - Dr. King published his book, Stride Toward Freedom: The
Montgomery Story (New York: Harper and Brothers, September
17, 1958). Dr. King was almost killed by a deranged black
woman, who stabbed him as he was autographing his new book
in a department store in Harlem, New York, September 20.
1959 - Dr. King and Coretta went to India as a guest of Prime
Minister Nehru in efforts to study and learn more about
Gandhi's philosophy and techniques of nonviolence from February
2 through March 10.
1959 - Dr. King published his book, The Measure of a Man
1960 - The sit-in demonstrations gained strength, with Greensboro,
North Carolina's Woolworth's lunch counter as their focal
point, February 1.
1960 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights
Act of 1960 into law on May 6.
1960 - Dr. King was arrested for breaking the state of Georgia's
trespassing law while picketing. He was transferred to Reidsville
State Prison but was released on $2000 bond on October 19.
1961 - Dexter Scott, Dr. King's third child was born January
1961 - C.O.R.E. (Congress of Racial Equality) tested the newly
established interstate desegregation laws. An integrated
group of Freedom Riders left Washington, DC on Greyhound
buses, and, upon arrival near Anniston, Alabama, the bus
was burned, and the riders were beaten, May 4.
1962 - Riots broke out on the campus at the University of Mississippi,
requiring 12,000 federal marshals to restore order when
James Meredith enrolled at the Oxford Campus under court
order on September 30.
1963 - Dr. King's forth child, Bernice Albertine, was born March
1963 - Sit-in demonstrations were held in Birmingham, Alabama
to protest public accommodations in eating facilities. Dr.
King was arrested during one of the demonstrations, April
1963 - In a moment of reflection, Dr. King, while in his Birmingham
cell, wrote about his concerns and criticism on the pace
of justice in civil rights for Black Americans. These thoughts
were expressed in his moving "Letter from a Birmingham
Jail," April 16.
1963 - Governor George Wallace stood in the door of the University
of Alabama, refusing the entrance of Black students, June
1963 - Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in front
of his home in Jackson, Mississippi on June 12.
1963 - On August 28, after meeting with President John F. Kennedy,
Dr. King delivered his famous "I
Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln
Memorial to a crowd estimated at 250,000.
1963 - Dr. King published his book, The Strength to Love
1963 - The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
became the site of a viscous attack on Sunday, September
15. Four little girls were killed when a bomb exploded inside
the church where the children were seated. Dr. King performed
a eulogy for three of the girls on September 18.
1963 - President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22.
1964 - Time Magazine honored Dr. King as "Man of the Year"
with a feature story and cover photo.
1964 - Dr. King published his book, Why We Can't Wait
1964 - Dr. King was present at the White House while President
Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Accommodation and Fair
Employment sections to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July
1964 - Dr. King wins the Nobel Prize
1964 - Three civil rights workers, James Chaney (black) and Andrew
Goodman and Michael Schwerner (both white) were killed on
a trip through Philadelphia, Mississippi, August 4.
1964 - On December 10, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize
in Oslo, Norway.
1965 - Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City on February
1965 - The Edmund Pettus Bridge incident took place in Selma,
Alabama. The marchers were billy-clubbed, tear-gassed, and
whipped with cattle prods, March 7.
1965 - The Selma to Montgomery March, which took in over 25,000
marchers, was held from March 21 to 25, with the protection
of federal troops. A white civil rights worker, Mrs. Viola
Liuzzo was killed driving some of the black marchers back
to Selma on March 25.
1965 - The 1965 Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President
Lyndon B. Johnson, August 6.
1965 - The Watts Riots erupted in California, August 11 and 12.
The National Guard was called in to stop America's worst
single racial disturbance. Thirty-five people died.
1966 - Dr. King came out against our government's policy in Vietnam
1966 - James Meredith was shot on a 220 mile "March Against
Fear" from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson Mississippi
on June 6.
1966 - SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael used the then-militant
term, "Black Power," in public for the first time
in Greenwood, Mississippi, June 27.
1966 - The National Guard was called in when Summer Riots, between
July 18-23, broke out in Omaha, Nebraska, Chicago, Illinois,
Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio.
1966 - Dr. King marched on the issue for open housing in Chicago
and was stoned by an angry crowd on August 6.
1967 - Dr. King published his book, Where Do We Go from Here?
Chaos or Community
1967 - Summer riots took the lives of forty-three, including
324 injured in Detroit, Michigan. Twenty-three died and
725 were injured in the Newark, New Jersey riots. Dr. King,
Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young, Jr. came out in an appeal
to stop the riots that took place from May 1 through October
1968 - Dr. King went to Memphis, Tennessee to lead a march in
support of striking sanitation workers, April 3.
1968 - Dr. King delivered his last speech, entitled "I've
Been to the Mountain Top," at the Mason Temple, the
national headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, in
Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3.
1968 - On April 4, Dr. King's life was ended by an assassin's
s bullet while he was on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel
in Memphis, Tennessee.
1968 - On April 5, President Lyndon B. Johnson decreed that Sunday,
April 7 be a day of national mourning in honor of Dr. King.
1968 - His body was viewed by mourners on the campus of Spelman
College in Atlanta, Georgia, April 7. His funeral was eulogized
at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta on April 9. He was laid
to rest at the South View Cemetery. More than 300,000 people
marched through Atlanta with his horse-drawn coffin, April
1968 - President Johnson signed another piece of civil rights
legislation banning racial discrimination in the sale and
rental of housing to Blacks and minorities, April 11.
1968 - On June 5, Robert Kennedy, the brother of the late president,
John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Los Angeles while campaigning
for the presidency of the United States.
1968 - Dr. King's assassin was identified as James Earl Ray,
who was arrested at a London airport on June 8. Ray was
later sentenced to 99 years in prison for this crime on
May 10. He died in prison of liver failure on April 23.
1968 - Shirley Chisholm of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New
York became the first black woman elected to Congress, November
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