|Date of Birth||15 January 1929 , Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
|Date of Death||4 April 1968 , Memphis, Tennessee, USA (assassination by gunshot)|
|Birth Name||Michael Luther King Jr.|
|Height||5' 6½" (1.69 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
On the cold winter night of December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old black seamstress who worked in a downtown Montgomery department store, boarded a bus for home and sat in the back with the other black passengers. A few stops later, she was ordered to give up her seat to a white passenger who just boarded. She repeatedly refused, prompting the driver to call the police, who arrested her. In response to Mrs. Parks' courage, the town's black leaders formed the Montgomery Improvement Association and elected Martin as its leader. The first goal of the MIA was to boycott the city's bus system until public transportation laws were changed. The strike was long, bitter and violent, but eventually the city's white merchants began to complain that their businesses were suffering because of the strike, and the city responded by filing charges against Martin. While in court to appeal the charges, he learned that the U.S. Supreme Court had affirmed the decision by the Alabama Supreme Court that the local laws requiring segregation on buses were unconstitutional. The first civil rights battle was won, but for Martin it was the first of many more difficult ones. On November 29, 1959, he offered his resignation to the members of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, as several months earlier he had been elected leader of a new organization called the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He moved his family to Atlanta and began to establish a regional network of nonviolent organizations. In April 1961 he coordinated the SCLC and other civil-rights organizations to take two busloads of white and black passengers through the South on a "freedom ride" for publicity reasons. In Virgina and North and South Carolina there were no incidents, but in Anniston, Alabama, the ride became a rolling horror when one bus was burned and its passengers beaten by an angry racist white mob. In Birmingham, angry mobs--with some policemen joining them--greeted the bus with more violence, which was broken up when state police intervened and stopped the chaos. The violence shook Martin and he decided to abandon the freedom rides before someone was killed, but the riders insisted they complete the ride to Montgomery, where they where greeted with more violence. In January 1963 Martin arrived in Birmingham with Ralph Abernathy to organize a freedom march aimed to end segregation. Despite an injunction issued by city authorities against the gathering, the protesters marched and were attacked by the police. Three months later another march was planned with the intent to "turn the other cheek" in response to the violence by the city's police force. As the marchers reached downtown Birmgingham, the police attacked the crowd with high-pressure fire hoses and attack dogs. This time, however, the incident was witnessed across the entire country, as many network TV crews were there and broadcasting live footage of unarmed marchers being blasted to the ground by high-pressure hoses and others being bitten and mauled by snarling attack dogs, and it sparked a national outrage. The next day, more marchers repeated the walk and more policemen attacked with fire hoses and police dogs, leading to a total of 1,200 arrests. On the third day, Martin organized another march to the city jail. This time, when the marchers approached the police, none of them moved and some even let the marchers through to continue their march. The nonviolent strategy had worked--the strikes and boycotts were cutting deeply into the city merchants' revenues, and they called for negotiations and agreed with local black leaders to integrate lunch counters, fitting rooms, restrooms and drinking fountains within 90 days. Martin was then called for a rally in Washington, DC, near the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Nearly 200,000 people stood in the intense heat listening to the speeches by the members and supporters of the NACCP. By the time Martin was called as the day's final speaker, the crowd was hot and tired. As he approached the podium, with his papers containing his prepared speech, he suddenly put them aside and decided to speak from the heart. He spoke of freedoms for blacks achieved and not yet achieved. He then spoke the words that echo throughout the world to this day: "I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.' I have that dream." By mid-October 1964 Martin had given 350 civil rights speeches and traveled 275,000 miles across the country and worked for 20 hours a day. While in an Atlanta hospital after collapsing from exhaustion, his wife brought in his room a telegram notifying him that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 1, 1968, Martin traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to meet with two of his advisers, James Bevel and Jesse Jackson, to discuss organizing a march to Washington in support of a strike by Memphis' city's sanitation workers. In the late afternoon of April 4, he stepped out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel where he was staying to speak with Andrew Young. As he saw Jackson and waved to him for a moment, a gunshot rang through the air and Martin Luther King Jr. was hit in the neck and fell dead from a sniper's bullet. He was dead, but the struggle that he started to continue to bring peace and end the racial conflict in the USA continues to this day.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Coretta Scott King||(18 June 1953 - 4 April 1968) (his death) (2 daughters, 2 sons)|