Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Born: January 15, 1929

Died: April 4, 1968 (Age 39)

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. King's death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.

Available Documents: 2

Christmas Sermon on Peace and Nonviolence
Sermon
December 24, 1967
2,998
29:02
115
The fifth and last lecture of the Massey Lecture series, delivered at King's home church, Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Speech
August 16, 1967
7,625
01:07:16
225
Delivered at the 11th Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, about seven months before King's assassination.



239
Find out more