Martin Luther King Jr. Major Accomplishments That Will Interest You

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Nov 03, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Apr 12, 2022
 a Baptist minister and social activist

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1926, in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States.

He was an American Baptist minister. He later became a social activist and fought for the civil rights of blacks in America and is described as a fearless leader.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born to Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He had 2 siblings: Christine King Farris and Adam Daniel Williams. He got married to Coretta Scott King in 1953 and had four kids: Yolanda King, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice King.

Martin Luther King Jr. was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and followed nonviolent activism. He took part in various boycotts and campaigns including the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, the Civil Rights Movement, the Peace Movement, the Birmingham Campaign, and others.

Martin Luther King Jr. established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) along with fellow civil rights activists. He was the first president of the SCLC.

In his career, he delivered various inspirational speeches that are still remembered. One of them was ‘I Have A Dream’. It was a defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement.

On January 14, 1968, he was planning the Poor People’s Campaign in Memphis, Tennessee when he was assassinated. He was initially buried in South View Cemetery in South Atlanta. Later, in 1977, his remains were transferred to a tomb in Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. He was the youngest person at that time to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

He is registered as a civil rights hero in the history of the United States. His wise and powerful words are still remembered all over the world.

Martin Luther King Jr. attained the status of a leading spokesperson and a symbolic leader from 1954 up until his death in the year 1968. Through his preference for non-violence, he assisted in the passing of various bills to bring about an end to racism. He also led many marches and protests to further the causes of the community.

Read on to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr.'s major accomplishments.

Fun facts About Martin Luther King Jr.'s Accomplishments

Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished various things in his life. He is remembered for his efforts to achieve basic civil rights for blacks in America. He led various protests, boycotts, and campaigns against the government.

He was successful in changing many laws. He fought for his community until the day he died. Some of the fun facts about Martin Luther King Jr.'s accomplishments are presented down below:

Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was planned by E.D. Nixon. It was planned because, on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to give up her bus seat for a white citizen. She was later arrested on the basis of the racial segregation law.

Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested during this boycott. Also, people bombed his house, subjected him to threats, and even worse, he had to suffer personal abuse.

In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the verdict that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted for 385 days and ended on January 20, 1956.

Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference had a significant role in the American Civil Rights Movement.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. started the Birmingham Campaign.

Birmingham was a racially divided city in the United States. The people living in this city were discriminated against legally and culturally.

Eugene Bull Connor, from the Birmingham Police Department, used high-pressure water jets, and police dogs on children.

The movement gained popularity all over the nation after this incident. Bull Connor lost his job. The municipal government changed the discriminatory laws of the city.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organized the march in Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.

Over 250,000 people took part in this march and it also became one of the biggest rallies in the history of the United States.

He gave his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech during the march. This speech became the defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Time Magazine, in January 1964, named Martin Luther King Jr. the ‘Man of the Year’.

He organized many rallies and movements for the basic civil rights of African-Americans. Later, the Civil Rights of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed and enacted into law.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14, 1964. He was the youngest person to ever receive this award.

In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. conducted a march in Selma, Alabama. The marchers were turned back by state troopers. They even used tear gas and nightsticks.

Over 50 people were hospitalized and this day came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday’.

After an uproar from all over the country, the government passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

Martin Luther King Jr. was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. He also followed non-violent activism.

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote various articles and five books. He became a symbolic leader who fought for various causes related to ensuring equal rights for all citizens of the country. This is the reason that Martin Luther King Jr. is highly revered in modern times.

Why did Martin Luther King Jr. fight for civil rights?

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist. He wanted to end the discrimination against blacks in the United States. He fought for civil rights because:

In the late 19th century, slavery ended in the United States.

However, African-Americans were still oppressed due to institutional racism.

Blacks in America were forced to attend a different school than whites and to use different public facilities.

There was discrimination in housing and employment. Many times, blacks were lynched and physically abused by whites.

Blacks did not have the right to vote in the United States.

Before Martin Luther King Jr., many activists and reformers were working for the equality and civil rights of black people in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

They were able to reform various laws, such as black and white students no longer needing to attend different schools.

To bring these positive changes throughout the country and to provide blacks with basic civil rights in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr. joined the movement.

Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to end any kind of discrimination and segregation in the country. So, he became a civil rights leader.

His first big fight was when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955.

In 1955, an African-American named Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat for a white man. She was arrested on charges of civil disobedience.

Martin Luther King Jr. started a campaign against the law and made Rosa Parks the face of the campaign. He demanded equal rights for blacks in public transport.

This boycott lasted approximately one year after which, the district court banned racial segregation in the public transport in Montgomery.

In 1957, he formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) along with other civil rights activists. He became the first president of the SCLC.

He took part in the Civil Rights Act and the Birmingham Campaign.

He was opposed by many Americans. He was abused, issued threats and even his house was bombed due to his protests.

Martin Luther King Jr. was highly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. He organized nonviolent campaigns and protests.

In 1964, he became the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35 years.

He fought for the civil rights for blacks until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Why was Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech so powerful?

The 'I Have A Dream' speech is one of the most famous speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. He gave the speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.

He delivered the speech during the March on Washington for the Jobs and Freedom campaign. Over 250,000 people attended the campaign. Some details about Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech are given down below:

  • Martin Luther King's speech 'I Have A Dream' was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.
  • In the speech, he talked about his dream of seeing white and black children walking hand in hand.
  • He mentioned that he believed that one day the children of former slaves and masters could live together in harmony.
  • This speech shed light on the Civil Rights Movement and inspired people to join the campaign.
  • He told how slavery and discrimination were a part of history and even in the present, it hasn't changed much.
  • He wanted to spread the message of non-violence through his speech. And it did. His speech was printed in newspapers and magazines. It was also played on the radio.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was named Man of the Year in 1963 by Time Magazine.
  • It quickened the passing of the Civil Rights Act.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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