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Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?

The impact Dr. King made on the world and how it continues to affect us today
Courtesy of Brittanica

On Monday January 15th, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. We all learned about this important historical figure in elementary school and what he has done to help change our society. He was recognized for being a civil rights icon and ended segregation. But what impact did he make and how does it affect us currently? 

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the second child out of three of Micheal King Sr. and Alberta King. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American baptist minister but he was best known for being a distinguished leader in the civil rights movement. He advocated for peaceful protests and also organized many marches and boycotts. His most famous speech that everybody knows is his “I had a dream” speech. This speech influenced the government to take more action and to finally recognize racial equality. He spoke in front of about 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963. He continued on with his speech and explained that he had a dream that people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but instead judged on the content of their character. His main message was that he wanted freedom, justice and equality for everyone. And at the age of 35, he was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize. But unfortunately, on April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead while standing outside on the balcony on the second floor at the Lorraine Motel by James Earl Ray.

He impacted our society so heavily by helping bring about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This allowed African Americans to gain civil rights across America and also have a right to vote. He ended racial segregation and brought equal rights for everyone. 

Martin Luther King Jr. day is a day to reflect and honor the legacy he has left behind. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to achieve freedom, justice and equality for the country.   


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