In the grand spirit of sharing interesting information, Singing Rooster presents facts you may not know about our beloved Martin Luther King.
His birth name was Michael. When his pastor father returned home from a trip to Germany in the early 30’s he, renamed his 5-year-old son Martin (after the protestant reformation leader).
He was a gifted student and skipped grades 9-12 entering college at 15.
He had no intention of following the family ministry vocation until the president of his college convinced him otherwise.
King convinced “Uhura” on Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols (who incidentally later went on to work for NASA), to continue with the role after the first season because her character portrayed an intelligent leader of the crew.
He was jailed maliciously (for civil disobedience) 29 times.
King received a C in public speaking during his first year at seminary! That didn’t stop him from rising to be the valedictorian of his class and one of the greatest American oratories.
His I Have a Dream speech painted an even bigger target on his back — with the FBI. Memos circulated throughout FBI offices show an obsession with King after the speech.
The BEST 17 minutes you’ll spend this month:
His house was bombed during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and his mother was murdered while playing the organ at church; the shooter intended to kill King’s father but reported his mother was closer. Another church member died in the assignation.
MLK day honors his birthday; only one other American has a national holiday to celebrate a birthday (George Washington).
Some of our favorite Martin Luther King Quotes:
- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”
- “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
- “I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
- “‘An eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”
- “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
- “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.”
- “Mankind must put and end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”
- “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
- “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
- “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
- “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
- “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
- “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”