7 Interesting Facts About Martin Luther King Jr

 In Education, Information, Memories

1)  As we observe a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., we’d like to remember together with you several intriguing facts about his life.  His name was originally Michael, not Martin.  His father was also Michael King, hence his son was named Michael King Jr. However, after a trip to Germany in 1931, Michael King Sr. changed his own name in honor of the legendary German theologian Martin Luther.  Michael King Jr. was two years old at the time and King Sr. made the Facts About Martin Luther King Jr blog picturedecision to change his son’s name to Martin Luther as well.

2)  At the age of 12, he may very well have tried to commit suicide.  It was May of 1941 when his grandmother passed away after a heart attack.  At the time of this event, King Jr. was off disobeying his parents by going to watch a parade when they told him not to go to.  When he came home and learned his grandmother had died, he went upstairs and jumped from the second story window of his house.  He was not seriously injured but refused to explain why he jumped out of the window.

3)  Martin showed a high level of aptitude toward he studies while in high school, skipping the 9th and 12th grades then applying and entering Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1944 at the age of 15.  King went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and another Bachelor’s degree in theology while he was there.  And later in 1955 at age 26, he received his Doctorate from Boston University.

4)  It is not widely known that Dr. King was nearly assassinated a decade earlier than his actual time of his death. While on a book tour, signing copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom on September 20, 1958, King was approached by Izola Ware Curry, an African-American woman who police later learned had a history of mental illness.  Ms. Curry waited patiently in line for the book signing and when she finally made it to the front of the line simply asked him if he was Martin Luther King Jr.  When he replied why yes indeed he was Dr King, she said “I’ve been looking for you for five years.” Ms. Curry then pulled out a letter opener from her purse and stabbed him in the chest.  It took three full hours to remove the blade because the sharpened point of the blade was pressing against his aorta and the doctors had to be extremely careful while removing it because of that.  The doctor, Dr. Maynard, told him after, “If you had sneezed during all those hours of waiting, your aorta would have been punctured and you would have drowned in your own blood.”

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5)  King is to date the youngest male to win a Nobel Peace Prize, winning it in 1964 at the age of 35, at the time he was the youngest overall to win the Peace Prize.  King donated all of the $54,123 (about $500,000 today) he received for his Nobel Peace Prize to the Civil Rights movement.  During his acceptance speech, he stated “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.  This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

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6)  King was also awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and a Medal of Freedom. It is little known that he also won a Grammy in 1971 for the Best Spoken Word Album, “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam”.

7)  There are only two other people in American history that have a national holiday in their honor, George Washington and Christopher Columbus.  As such, Martin Luther King Jr. is the only native born United States citizen to have a national holiday in his honor, which has been celebrated in every state since 2000.

We truly hope you enjoyed this brief walk down memory lane while celebrating the life of Dr. King, one of the 10 world martyrs of the 20th-century who are depicted in life-size statues at the entrance of Westminster Abbey in London, now imagine that.

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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

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