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Martin Luther King Jr Birth Anniversary: Here are Some Lesser Known Facts About Him

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Last Updated: January 15, 2021, 14:45 IST

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr

Though a public figure, there are many aspects of Martin Luther King Jr's life which are not known to the public.

"A productive and happy life is not something you find; it is something you make". Quote sounds familiar, right?

Well, given the current pandemic situation this does sound quite reassuring, for sure.Speaking of which, the man who uttered this motivating and the relevant line is none other than the Baptist minister (of the United States during 1950s) and social activist Martin Luther King Jr.

The movement on racial equality and justice in America was led by him.Though a public figure, there are many aspects of his life which are not known to the public.

On this legend's birth anniversary, let's reveal some of the lesser-known facts about this historical figure.


Born on 15th January, Martin Luther King Jr. was the youngest person to have received the Nobel Peace Prize (1964) at 35 years of age. This generous man had declared that he would hand over the entire prize money (54,123 $) (as soon his selection was announced) for the furtherance of the Civil Rights Movement. He had relentlessly pursued a non-violent struggle to get civil rights for the Afro-American population. Gandhi's non-violence motto has been his chosen path while fighting against the racial discrimination policy. However, his nonviolent stance had always faced with violent protests by the racists.Many must be aware of Martin Luther's 'I have a dream' acceptance speech. But do you know that 2,50,000 demonstrators had marched to Lincoln Memorial in Washington, where King delivered the famous speech? This eloquent orator, though known for his oratory skills, had got C in public speaking during his first year at seminary.

Apart from winning the Nobel prize, Luther had been awarded Congressional Gold Medal, Medal of Freedom and guess what- a Grammy too! He went on to win the latter for his 'Why I Oppose the Vietnam War' album.

In US, since 1986, the third Monday of January has been observed as Martin Luther King Day in honour of this stalwart. As a matter of fact, there are only 2 other personalities - George Washington and Christopher Columbus to have been commemorated with the national holiday in American history. Martin Luther King Jr.is the only native-born US citizen to have got this honour.

There are over 700 streets named after King in the US. It would be interesting to note that his original name was Michael though; and so was his father's. After a trip to Germany in 1931, his father being moved by the German theologian professor Martin Luther’s exemplary life, decided to change both- his own name as well as King Jr's name to Martin Luther King.

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first published:January 15, 2021, 14:45 IST
last updated:January 15, 2021, 14:45 IST