40 Facts About Martin Luther King Jr

1. Martin Luther King Jr made our nation stronger because he made it better.

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2. Martin Luther King Jr was awarded at least fifty honorary degrees from colleges and universities.

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3. Martin Luther King Jr believed that capitalism could not adequately provide the basic necessities of many American people, particularly the African-American community.

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4. Martin Luther King Jr supported the ideals of democratic socialism, although he was reluctant to speak directly of this support due to the anti-communist sentiment being projected throughout the United States at the time, and the association of socialism with communism.

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5. In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr urged his supporters "and all people of goodwill" to vote against Republican Senator Barry Goldwater for president, saying that his election "would be a tragedy, and certainly suicidal almost, for the nation and the world.

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6. Dr Martin Luther King Jr was a major inspiration along with the civil rights movement which inspired the Native American rights movement of the 1960s and many of its leaders.

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7. At the reservation Dr Martin Luther King Jr met with all the tribal leaders, and others on the reservation then ate with them.

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8. Martin Luther King Jr promptly responded and through his intervention the problem was quickly resolved.

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9. Dr Martin Luther King Jr assisted Native American people in south Alabama in the late 1950s.

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10. Martin Luther King Jr publicly discouraged it as a widespread practice, but acknowledged that it was sometimes necessary.

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11. Martin Luther King Jr struggled only with the weapons of truth, soul force, non-injury and courage.

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12. Martin Luther King Jr initially believed in and practiced self-defense, even obtaining guns in his household as a means of defense against possible attackers.

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13. Martin Luther King Jr was advised by the white activists Harris Wofford and Glenn Smiley.

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14. Martin Luther King Jr has become a national icon in the history of American liberalism and American progressivism.

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15. Martin Luther King Jr spent the remainder of his life attempting, unsuccessfully, to withdraw his guilty plea and secure the trial he never had.

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16. Martin Luther King Jr was sentenced to a 99-year prison term.

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17. Martin Luther King Jr was using the alias Ramon George Sneyd on his way to white-ruled Rhodesia.

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18. Martin Luther King Jr was booked in Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

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19. On March 29, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees, who were represented by AFSCME Local 1733.

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20. Martin Luther King Jr felt that Congress had shown "hostility to the poor" by spending "military funds with alacrity and generosity.

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21. Martin Luther King Jr quoted from Henry George and George's book, Progress and Poverty, particularly in support of a guaranteed basic income.

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22. Martin Luther King Jr brought up issues of civil rights and the draft.

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23. Martin Luther King Jr guarded his language in public to avoid being linked to communism by his enemies, but in private he sometimes spoke of his support for democratic socialism.

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24. Martin Luther King Jr opposed the Vietnam War because it took money and resources that could have been spent on social welfare at home.

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25. Martin Luther King Jr was criticized by many groups during the course of his participation in the civil rights movement.

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26. Martin Luther King Jr was displeased with the pace that President Kennedy was using to address the issue of segregation.

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27. At the age of 25 in 1954, Martin Luther King Jr was called as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

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28. Martin Luther King Jr married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents' house in her hometown of Heiberger, Alabama.

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29. Martin Luther King Jr continued to have lingering feelings toward the woman he left; one friend was quoted as saying, "Martin Luther King Jr never recovered.

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30. Martin Luther King Jr planned to marry her, but friends advised against it, saying that an interracial marriage would provoke animosity from both blacks and whites, potentially damaging his chances of ever pastoring a church in the South.

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31. Martin Luther King Jr once reproved another student for keeping beer in his room, saying they had shared responsibility as African Americans to bear "the burdens of the Negro race.

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32. Martin Luther King Jr became fond of the street because a classmate had an aunt who prepared collard greens for them, which they both relished.

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33. Martin Luther King Jr had concluded that the church offered the most assuring way to answer "an inner urge to serve humanity.

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34. At the age of 15, Martin Luther King Jr passed the exam and entered Morehouse.

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35. Martin Luther King Jr initially refused but complied after his teacher told him that he would be breaking the law if he did not submit.

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36. Martin Luther King Jr became known for his public-speaking ability and was part of the school's debate team.

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37. Martin Luther King Jr lost his friend because the child's father no longer wanted the boys to play together.

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38. Martin Luther King Jr's parents were both African-American, and he had Irish ancestry through his paternal great-grandfather.

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39. In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr was planning a national occupation of Washington, DC, to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee.

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40. Martin Luther King Jr helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

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