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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Dates that changed history

–Jan. 15, 1929 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is born in Atlanta.

–May 1954 – The Brown vs. Board of Education decision paves the way for school desegregation as the Supreme Court of the United States rules racial segregation in public school unconstitutional.



–Dec. 5, 1955 – The Montgomery bus boycott begins after Mrs. Rosa Park, a seamstress, is arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. King assumes leadership of the boycott which lasts 381 days.

–Sept. 9, 1957 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends the Arkansas National Guard to escort nine black students to Little Rock Central High. One thousand paratroopers remain on campus for an entire year to keep the peace.




–Sept. 20, 1958 – King is stabbed in the chest by Mrs. Izola Curry in a Harlem department store while autographing his newly published book, “Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story.”

–Oct., 1960 – King is arrested at a sit-in in an Atlanta department store and sentenced to four months of hard labor. After Senator Robert Kennedy intervenes is he released.

–April, 1963 – Mass demonstrations begin in Birmingham, Ala., protesting segregation of public facilities. The nation is shocked by the photographs of police brutality as they use fire hoses and police dogs against the protesters.

–Aug. 28, 1963 – The March on Washington becomes the largest and most dramatic civil rights demonstration in history with 250,000 marchers, including 60,000 whites. King gives the “I Have a Dream” speech.

–Sept. 15, 1963 – The 21st bombing in eight years kills four little girls in a Birmingham church.

–Nov. 22, 1963 – President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

–Dec. 10, 1964 – King is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. At age 35, he is the youngest ever to win the prize.

–Feb. 18, 1965 – Malcolm X, black Muslim leader, is assassinated at a rally in the Audubon Ballroom in New York.

–Aug. 5, 1966 – King is assaulted with stones as he leads marchers through Chicago’s Southwest Side.

–June 2, 1967 – Riots begin in the Roxbury section of Boston, more than 60 people are injured and nearly 100 arrested. Before the summer is over, riots occur in 30 other cities. In Detroit alone, 43 die and 324 are injured.

–April 4, 1968 – King is assassinated in the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis.

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