The Chronology of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial before his I Have a Dream speech during the March on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963. – AP file photos

Photo: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial before his I Have a Dream speech during the March on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963. – AP file photos

The Dallas Examiner


Legendary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was arrested numerous times, often on minor or trumped-up charges.  His home was bombed, he was stabbed and stoned in his press for civil rights, yet, remained dedicated to the fight for justice and equality through peaceful demonstrations, White House meetings and the justice system. Below is a chronology of his advocacy.



January 15 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia



December 1 – Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a White man, Dr. King is unanimously elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Montgomery bus boycott begins.



June 4 – A United States District Court rules that racial segregation on city bus lines is unconstitutional.


November 13 – The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the decision of the three-judge district court regarding racial segregation on city buses.


December 20 – Montgomery buses are integrated.



February 14 – Dr. King forms the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.


September 9 – First Civil Rights Act since Reconstruction passes, creating the Civil Rights Commission and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.



February – Dr. and Mrs. King visit India to study Gandhi’s March techniques of nonviolence as guests of Prime Minister Jawaharal Nehru.



May 2-5 – Dr. King is invited to join the protests in Birmingham, Ala. during which Eugene “Bull” Connor, director of Public Safety of Birmingham, Ala., orders the use of police dogs and fire hoses against the marching protesters, including young adults and children.


May 20 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules Birmingham, Alabama’s segregation ordinances unconstitutional.


August 28 – The March on Washington, the first large-scale integrated protest march, is held in Washington, D.C. Dr. King delivers his “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.



May-June – Dr. King joins other SCLC workers in a demonstration for the integration of public accommodations in St. Augustine, Florida. He is arrested and jailed.


July 2 – Dr. King attends the signing of the Public Accommodations Bill, (Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House.


December 10 – Dr. King receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.



March 7 – SNCC and SCLC demonstrators are beaten by state highway patrolmen and sheriff’s deputies when crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their march to Montgomery from Selma, Alabama. An order by Governor Wallace had prohibited the march.


March 16 – Sheriff’s deputies and police on horseback in Montgomery, Alabama. beat Black and White demonstrators.


March 21-25 – Over 3,000 protest marchers leave Selma for a march to Montgomery, Ala. protected by federal troops. They are joined along the way by a total of 25,000 marchers. Upon reaching the capitol, they hear an address by Dr. King.


August 6 – President Johnson signs the 1965 Voting Rights Act.



February – Dr. King rents an apartment in the Black ghetto of Chicago, Illinois.


May 16 – An antiwar statement by Dr. King is read at a large Washington rally to protest the war in Vietnam. He agrees to serve as a co-chairman of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam.


July 10 – Dr. King launches a drive to make Chicago an “open city” regarding housing.


August 5 – Dr. King is stoned in Chicago as he leads a march in the Gage Park section of Chicago’s southwest side.



March 12 – Alabama is ordered to desegregate all public schools.


July 26 – Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young appeal for an end to the riots.


November 27 – Dr. King announces the formation by SCLC of a Poor People’s Campaign, with the aim of representing the problems of poor Blacks and Whites.



March 28 – Dr. King leads 6,000 protesters on a march through downtown Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. Disorder breaks out during which Black youths loot stores. One 16-year-old is killed and 50 people are injured.


April 3 – Dr. King’s last speech titled I’ve Been to the Mountain Top is delivered at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennesee.


April 4 – Dr. King is assassinated as he stands talking on the balcony of his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He dies in St. Joseph’s Hospital from a gunshot wound in the neck.



January 18 – President Ronald Reagan signs a proclamation declaring the third Monday in January of each year a public holiday in honor of the birthday of Dr. King.



December 8 – A jury of 12 citizens of Memphis, Shelby County, Tennesse concluded in the Coretta Scott King vs. Loyd Jowers trial that Jowers and governmental agencies including the city of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the federal government and other unknown conspirators, were party to the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.


Source: The King Center,


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