MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
HISTORIC SPEECHES AND INTERVIEWS
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister from Georgia who led the non-violent civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
Bus Boycott, Montgomery, AL:
Buses are integrated after a year-long protest led by Dr. King.
King visits India:
Dr. King is inspired by Gandhi's teachings and considers this trip a pilgrimage.
Public facilities are integrated after protest marches. Thousands of children participate along with adults, using Dr. King's non-violent methods.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Opposition from some civil rights leaders:
Not all civil rights leaders agree with Dr. King's non-violent policies. Some begin to advocate violence.
Civil Rights March, Washington, DC:
250,000 people, black and white, participate. Dr. King gives his famous speech, “I have a dream.”
Civil Rights Act:
Stronger laws are enacted after the press publicizes segregationist violence against protesters in Birmingham.
Dr. King Awarded:
Dr. King is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.
Voting Rights March, Selma Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama:
Following this march, a strong voting rights bill was passed by Congress.
Chicago Freedom Movement, Chicago, IL:
Segregationists in the North react with great protest to the idea of integration.
Vietnam War Protest:
Dr. King makes the crucial decision to oppose the war, deciding that he cannot remain silent on the issue.
April 4, 1968
While in Memphis, Tennessee, supporting striking sanitation workers, Dr. King is killed.
Click on a picture below to watch the video.
After the successful bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama,
gained new hope and confidence. Dr. King discusses
development in a 1957 television interview:
The American public reacted with horror to the violence
that greeted the civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham,
Alabama. As a result, President Kennedy introduced a new Civil
Rights Act in 1963 and President Johnson signed it into law in 1964:
After his famous successes in the Civil Rights movement,
King was asked to talk about his non-violent methods. Some
emerging Black Civil Rights leaders, including Malcolm X at the time of this
Dr. King Malcolm X Dr. King
on Non-Violence on Dr. King on Malcolm X
Dr. King reiterated his views on non-violence a year
in St. Augustine, Florida:
Dr. King in Florida
One of Dr. King's most famous speeches was "I Have a
Dream," given at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in 1963:
Voting rights initiatives had begun in the South, when
Dr. King, despite threats and intimidation tactics, led a
voting rights march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama:
Bricks and bottles pelted demonstrators and cherry bombs
exploded as they marched in support of open housing in the suburbs of
Dr. King's opposition to the Vietnam War triggered
to his stand even within the civil rights movement, and lost him the
support of President Johnson:
Dr. King saw the war in Vietnam as a crime against the
Dr. King believed that it is important to oppose
even when such opposition is contrary to prevailing norms:
On the night before he died, Dr. King was called to give
a speech at a mass meeting at Mason Temple, in Memphis, Tennessee,
he was helping lead demonstrations of striking AFSCME sanitation
workers. Since he was not feeling well he initially sent Rev.
Abernathy in his stead, but he later relented when the people
requested that he personally come and speak:
Shock, outrage, and sorrow followed Dr. King's murder in
In 1963, after John F. Kennedy's assassination, Dr. King
shared his prophetic thoughts on living under the threat of violence:
Throughout his career, Dr. King successfully fought
against discouragement and self-doubt, and he encouraged others to do
This page last updated on 4/4/2018
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