Martin Luther King Jr., who was murdered 50 years ago today on April 4, 1968, is one of the most revered figures in American history. Born the son of a civil rights activist, he became one himself, inspired by the teachings of Jesus to dedicate his life to the service of others.
Dr. King’s leading role in the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott made him a central figure in the civil rights movement, working tirelessly to call for an end to racial segregation in America. He preached non-violent civil disobedience despite the violence threatened and sometimes perpetrated upon himself, upon black Americans, and upon others who joined him in insisting upon fair treatment for all. He raised a family while inspiring a nation with his stirring calls for justice, and with his “I Have a Dream” speech, gave Americans a vision of the future worth fighting for, a vision of brotherhood and sisterhood between all.
We remember Dr. King as a man who demanded the best of humanity, and who insisted that “the time is always right to do what is right.” In celebrating his legacy, we offer several resources:
- Share a few of Martin Luther King’s most enduring quotes.
- Read an account of Dr. King’s life story via the Knoxville News-Sentinel
- Meet the people who helped fight for Dr. King’s dream
- Watch excerpts from his speeches in Washington, Montgomery, Detroit, and Memphis
- Find more about the civil rights movement and its leaders