In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, here are your ten facts regarding this inspirational leader!
1. Martin Luther King Jr graduated high school at the age of 15. There are also some reports that he skipped ninth and twelfth grades.
2. King’s last speech before his assassination was entitled, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” and begin with “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
3. In 2002, Martin Luther King was portrayed by his son Dexter Scott King for The Rosa Parks Story.
4. Martin Luther King was originally born Michael King. His father changed his name as well as young Michael’s to Martin Luther after the German Protestant leader, Martin Luther.
5. King was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award, named after a 1963 encyclical letter by Pope John XXIII calling for all people to strive for peace.
6. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination through nonviolent means.
7. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial cost $120 million to produce and was first approved 15 years ago.
8. Martin Luther King was the first black American to be named as TIME Magazine’s Man of the Year.
9. Martin Luther King was the subject of the U2 song “Pride (In the Name of Love)” from their 1984 album “The Unforgettable Fire”.
10. To date, all 50 states observe the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday