January 15. Michael Luther King Jr., later renamed Martin, born to schoolteacher Alberta King and Baptist minister Michael Luther King. Boyhood in Sweet Auburn district.
King graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. with a B.A.
Graduates with a B.D. from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pa.
June 18. King marries Coretta Scott in Marion, Ala.. They will have four children: Yolanda Denise (b.1955), Martin Luther King III (b.1957), Dexter (b.1961), Bernice Albertine (b.1963).
September. King moves to Montgomery, Ala. to preach at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
After coursework at New England colleges, King finishes his Ph. D. in systematic theology.
January 26. King is arrested for driving 30 m.p.h. in a 25 m.p.h. zone.January 30. King’s house bombed.
January. Black ministers form what became known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King is named first president one month later. In this typical year of demonstrations, King traveled 780,000 miles and made 208 speeches.
King’s first book published, Stride Toward Freedom (Harper), his recollections of the Montgomery bus boycott. While King is promoting his book in a Harlem book store, an African American woman stabs him.
King visits India. He had a lifelong admiration for Mohandas K. Gandhi, and credited Gandhi’s passive resistance techniques for his civil-rights successes.
King leaves for Atlanta to pastor his father’s church, Ebenezer Baptist Church.
King meets with President John F. Kennedy to urge support for civil rights.
King leads protests in Birmingham for desegregated department store facilities, and fair hiring.April. Arrested after demonstrating in defiance of a court order, King writes “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” This eloquent letter, later widely circulated, became a classic of the civil-rights movement.August 28. 250,000 civil-rights supporters attended the March on Washington.At the Lincoln Memorial, King delivers the famous “I have a dream” speech.
King’s book published: Why We Can’t Wait .King visits with West Berlin Mayor Willy Brant and Pope Paul VI.December 10. King wins Nobel Peace Prize.
January 18. King successfully registers to vote at the Hotel Albert in Selma, Ala. and is assaulted by James George Robinson of Birmingham.February. King continues to protest discrimination in voter registration, is arrested and jailed.Meets with President Lyndon B. Johnson and other American leaders about voting rights for African AmericansMarch 16-21: King and 3,200 people march from Selma to Montgomery.
April 4. King is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. by James Earl Ray.
January 20 is the first national celebration of King’s birthday as a holiday.