King was born in 1929 and became a Baptist minister and activist, who led a movement of nonviolent civil disobedience. He led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, where people took a stand against racial segregation by refusing to surrender their seats to white people. The campaign lasted for a year, and was sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks – who refused to give up her seat.
King organized several nonviolent protests and marches in the following decade. He helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream speech’ and earned his reputation as one of he greatest public speakers in American history.
In 1964, King received a Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent fight against racial inequality. In the final years of his life, King’s focus changed to include a resistance to widespread poverty and the Vietnam War. The latter alienated many of his liberal allies.
In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington – called the Poor People’s Campaign. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4 – and his death was followed by riots in many US cities. He was shot by a single bullet fired by James Earl Day at 6pm, as he stood on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel. King died an hour later at St Joseph’s Hospital, and Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison – after pleading guilty to avoid receiving the death penalty. Ray died in prison in 1998, when he was 70 years old.
His legacy is celebrated each year with the holiday named in his honor. Legacy Spine and Neurological Specialist proudly honors, Martin Luther King Jr. on this day!