Dr. King, Jr: A Timeline

Dr. King in Selma

Dr. King, Coretta Scott King, and Ralph Bunches march in Selma, Alabama.

  • January 19, 1929: Michael King, Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael is later renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. after the German Protestant religious leader.
  • 1944: King, age 15, begins attending Morehouse College.
  • 1948: King begins theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary. Martin was class valedictorian and student body president.
  • 1951: King attends graduate school at Boston University and meets Coretta Scott.
  • Sept 1954: Martin and Coretta King, now married, move to Montgomery Alabama.  King becomes pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
  • Dec 1, 1955: 42 year old Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to white passengers.
  • Dec 5, 1955: King becomes president of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association. A 382 day successful Montgomery city bus boycott begins.
  • January 10, 1957: King is named chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
  • 1958: Stride Toward Freedom, King's first book, is published.  King recovers from a stabbing at a book signing.
  • 1959: King visits India for a month, meeting Prime Minister Nehru. 
  • 1961: King asks President Kennedy to sign a second Emancipation Proclamation. 
  • Summer 1963: King writes his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in April.  4,000 protesters are thwarted by authorities in Birmingham. King publishes Strength to Love in June.
  • August 28, 1963: Over 200,000 protesters attend the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  King delivers his I Have a Dream speech.
  • January 1964: King is named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.
  • June 1964: King publishes Why We Can't Wait.
  • December 10, 1964: King receives the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • March 7, 1965: Protesters marching for voting rights are beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
  • March 17-25, 1965: King and protesters march to Montgomery after a court upholds their right to march.
  • January 1966: The King family moves to Chicago to bring awareness to poor housing conditions.
  • April 1967: King delivers "Beyond Vietnam," a speech to end the war, in New York City.
  • June 1967: King publishes Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
  • March 28, 1968: King and 6,000 protesters march in Memphis supporting sanitation workers.  The march ends in violence.
  • April 3, 1968: King gives his last speech, "I've Been To the Mountaintop."
  • April 4, 1968: King is shot and killed at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis.
  • April 9, 1968: King is buried in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, check out these books and movies at SCCLD.
Selma is in theaters now.

images via imagequest



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