Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday to honor and celebrate the life of the civil rights activist. King was a Baptist minister and activist who was considered one of the leaders of the civil rights movement until he was assassinated in 1968. The numbers below give more information about King and the life he led.
1929 – The year King was born in Atlanta, Ga. He was born Michael Luther King Jr. but later changed his first name to Martin.
19 – The age King became an ordained minister.
25 – The age King completed his Ph.D. and earned his degree at Boston University. He completed his undergraduate work at Morehouse College and Crozer Theological Seminary.
382 – The number of days of the first boycott King led, the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, which began after Rosa Parks, a Black woman, refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man.
62 – The number of ministers and civil rights activists, including King, who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches.
6 million – The number of miles King traveled in an 11-year time period after he was elected president of the SCLC.
2,500 – The number of times spoke during that 11-year time period. He would travel to places where there was injustice and protests for equality.
250,000 – The number of people in Washington, D.C. who witnessed King’s famous “I Have a Dream” address.
35 – The age at which King received the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the youngest person to have received it.
$54,123 – The amount of money King received, and subsequently donated to further the civil rights movement, with his Nobel Peace Prize.
1964 – The year Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting racial segregation in the U.S.
1965 – The year Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, five months after a peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery that ended with a televised speech from King.
39 – The age at which King was assassinated, on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tn.
1983 – The year President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.