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Welcome to another Turbo Storie

Today we present,

Reverend Luther.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was a legend of the civil rights movement.

In the mid-1950s, Dr. King led the movement to end racial segregation and counteract prejudice in the United States through peaceful protest.

His speeches, some of the most iconic of the 20th century, had a profound effect on the national consciousness of the United States. Thanks to his leadership, the civil rights movement opened doors to education and employment that had long been closed to the Black population in the United States.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday in honor of Dr. King for his commitment to equal rights and justice for all. Celebrated for the first time on January 20, 1986, it is called Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In January 2000, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially celebrated in all 50 states in the United States. The day commemorates the activist's birthdate, January 15, 1929, but like many holidays in the United States, it is not a fixed date and is celebrated on the third Monday of January.

This is what you need to know about the extraordinary life of Dr. King.

Early Life

Although Dr. King's name is known worldwide, many may not know that he was born as Michael King, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929.

His father, Michael King, was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. During a trip to Germany, King Sr. was so impressed by the history of the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther that he not only changed his own name but also that of 5-year-old Michael.

His brilliance was evident early on, as at the age of 15, he was accepted into Morehouse College, a historically Black school in Atlanta.

In the summer before his last year of college, Dr. King knew he was destined to continue the family tradition of pastoral work and decided to enter the ministry.

He graduated from Morehouse at the age of 19 and then enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he earned a Divinity degree in 1951.

He later earned his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University in 1955.

Dr. King married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953, in the garden of her parents' home in Heiberger, Alabama. They had four children.

In 1954, at the age of 25, Dr. King became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

In March 1955, Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old Black student in Montgomery, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, violating Jim Crow laws, local laws in the southern United States that enforced racial segregation. Dr. King was part of the African American community committee in Birmingham that investigated the case.

The local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) briefly considered using Colvin's case to challenge segregation laws but decided that, being so young and pregnant, her case would attract too much negative attention.

Nine months later, on December 1, 1955, a similar incident occurred when a seamstress named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus.

The two incidents led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, urged and planned by the president of the Alabama NAACP chapter, E.D. Nixon, and led by Dr. King. The boycott lasted 385 days.

Dr. King's prominent and open role in the boycott led to numerous threats against his life, and his home was attacked with explosives. He was arrested during the campaign, which ended with the U.S. District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle (in which Colvin was a plaintiff) that ended racial segregation on all public buses in Montgomery. Dr. King's role in the bus boycott made him a national figure and the most well-known spokesperson for the civil rights movement.

On August 28, 1963, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom became the pinnacle of Dr. King's national and international influence. In front of a crowd of 250,000 people, he delivered the legendary "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

That speech, along with many others given by Dr. King, has had a lasting impact on global rhetoric.

In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism in favor of civil rights and social justice. Most of the rights for which Dr. King organized protests became laws with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

But Dr. King would not live to see that vision realized. The next day, on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was shot and killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis by James Earl Ray, a small-time criminal who had escaped from a maximum-security prison the previous year. Ray was charged and convicted of the murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison on March 10, 1969.

After three days in jail, Ray claimed he was not guilty and had been set up. He spent the rest of his life unsuccessfully fighting for a trial, despite the eventual support of some members of the King family and Reverend Jesse Jackson.

The turmoil sparked by Dr. King's assassination led many Black Americans to wonder if the dream he had spoken of so eloquently had died with him. However, today, young people around the world continue to learn about Dr. King's life and legacy, and his vision of equality and justice for all continues to resonate.

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