Martin Luther King Jr.: Did you know...?

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Martin Luther King Jr.

Did you know renowned civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. won a Grammy? Here are other surprising tidbits about MLK as we celebrate his day. See gallery

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Birth name

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Jan. 15 (what year?) in Atlanta, Georgia, to Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. (see photos) and Alberta Williams King (see photos). After a trip to Nazi Germany in 1934, his father changed his and his son's first and middle names to honor the German Protestant reformer Martin Luther.


What was King's legal birth name?

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Church choir singer

When Martin Luther King Jr. was growing up, his father led a Baptist church in Atlanta (which one?). In 1939, King sang with the choir at the gala premiere of what famous movie? King later followed in his father's footsteps to become a Christian minister.

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Graduations and degrees

The future civil rights leader skipped two grades (which ones?) before going on to Morehouse College (how old was he when he graduated?). There, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (in what?). He later received his doctorate in theology from this northeastern university.

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Coretta Scott King marriage & kids

Martin Luther King Jr. met Coretta Scott (see photos) when she was studying at a college in Boston. King famously wrote to his mother that he had met his wife just two weeks after meeting Scott. The couple had four children together (what were their names?).

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Attempted assassination

On Sept. 20, 1958, Izola Ware Curry approached King during a book signing in New York (for which book?) and stabbed him with a letter opener in the left side of his chest. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where his doctor told him, "If you had sneezed during all those hours of waiting, your aorta would have been punctured" and he would have died. What happened to Curry?

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'I Have a Dream' speech

Recognized as a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech (watch it) called for an end to racism. It was given in front of a symbolic memorial (which one?) at the end of the March on Washington (on what date?).

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Nobel Peace Prize

King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (in what year?) for leading non-violent resistance to racial prejudice (who inspired him to pursue this?). At the time, he was the youngest person to ever receive the prize (how old was he? | photos of him accepting the honor).

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Time's 'Man of the Year'

Martin Luther King Jr. was the first African American to be named "Man of the Year" by Time magazine. In what year did he receive this title?

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Inspiring a 'Star Trek' starlet

Nichelle Nichols (see photos) was best known as a singer before she joined "Star Trek" to play Lt. Uhura in 1966. She was planning to leave the show after the first season to join Broadway, until King implored her not to leave the show. Why did he convince her to continue with the show?

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Assassination at Lorraine Motel

On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a famous speech (which one? | hear it) in Memphis, Tenn. During the speech, in reference to a bomb threat, King said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will." The following day, he was assassinated at 6:01 p.m. while he was standing outside of the Lorraine Motel's room 306. Who shot him?

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Tombstone engravement

Martin Luther King Jr. is buried at what is now the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Ga. What famous words are engraved on his tombstone?

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Grammy winner

Martin Luther King Jr. won a Grammy posthumously in 1971 (what award?) for a famous speech he wrote about the Vietnam War. What was the speech (hear it)?

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Even though this president signed Martin Luther King Jr. Day into law in 1983, it wasn't until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed it as a holiday (read about its opposition), observed on the third Monday of January each year.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, located in a national park in Washington D.C. (which one?), opened to the public on August 22, 2011. The statue of King at the center of the memorial (see photos) is inscribed with a phrase from his “I Have a Dream” speech (which one?).

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