Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 15, 1929. King was a Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and civil rights leader who practiced peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience to protest racial inequality.

In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year, he and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition to poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam.”

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tenn., while planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., for the Poor People’s Campaign. Riots broke out in cities around the U.S. in response to King’s death. (AP)

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Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 15, 1929. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and civil rights leader who practiced peaceful non-violent civil disobedience in protest to racial inequality. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., third from left, listens to a speaker during an assembly at Morehouse College in Atlanta. As a teenager in 1944, King worked on a tobacco farm in Connecticut. That experience influenced his decision to become a minister. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., right, accompanied by Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, center, is booked by city police Lt. D.H. Lackey in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 23, 1956. The civil rights leaders are arrested on indictments turned by the Grand Jury in the bus boycott. (AP Photo/Gene Herrick)

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is welcomed with a kiss by his wife Coretta after leaving court in Montgomery, Ala., March 22, 1956. King was found guilty of conspiracy to boycott city buses in a campaign to desegregate the bus system, but a judge suspended his $500 fine pending appeal. (AP Photo/Gene Herrick)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Pictured left to right at the Freedom Pilgrimage rally at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., May 17, 1957, are: Roy Wilkins of New York, executive secretary of the NAACP; the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. of Montgomery, Ala.; and A. Philip Randolph of New York, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. (AP Photo/Charles Gorry)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. recovers from surgery in bed at New York’s Harlem Hospital on following an operation to remove steel letter opener from his chest after being stabbed by a mentally disturbed woman as he signed books in Harlem, Sept. 21, 1958. (AP Photo/John Lent)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leaves court after a four-month sentence in Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 25, 1960, for taking part in a lunch counter sit-in at Rich’s department store. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King is given a welcome home kiss by his wife Coretta, upon his return to Atlanta following his release from Reidsville State Prison on bond, on Oct. 27, 1960. King’s children, Yolanda, 5, and Martin Luther III, 3, join the welcome celebration. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of Atlanta, Ga., left, asked that Pres. John F. Kennedy issues an executive order declaring all forms of racial segregation illegal at a press conference, June 5, 1961, New York. He also said that a speaking trip to the South by the President would be welcomed by many White persons as well as African Americans. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

U.S. Sen. Joseph Clark (D-Pa.), center, laughs along with Dr. Martin Luther King, left, leader against segregation, at Lincoln University commencement exercises, June 7, 1961, Oxford, Pa. At right is acting President Donald Yelton. (AP Photo/Sam Myers)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Integration leader Martin Luther King, Jr., second from left, talks to a newsman on July 12, 1962, after he and Rev. Ralph Abernathy, second from right, walked out of jail after their fines were paid. Both said they did not know who paid the $178 fines. Far right is an unidentified city detective. Police arrested 32 African American demonstrators on July, 11, 1962 in Albany, Ga., when the group tried to march on City Hall. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Integration leader Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta minister, speaking to a church filled to overflowing, in Albany, Georgia on July 22, 1962, about the legal fights ahead. King and other integration leaders and organizations fighting to break down segregation will start court action in a effort to upset a Federal injunction issued on banning protest demonstrations. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

During months of local anti-segregation campaigns led by the SCLC in Albany, Georgia, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested by Albany’s Chief of Police, Laurie Pritchett, after praying at City Hall, on July 27, 1962. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Ralph Abernathy, left, and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., right are taken by a policeman as they led a line of demonstrators into the business section of Birmingham, Ala., on April 12, 1963. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

A police officer holds the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by his belt as he leads him to the paddy wagon, following arrest at an anti-segregation protest in downtown Birmingham, Ala., on April 13, 1963. An unidentified cameraman is documenting the scene. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is followed by Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, left, and Ralph Abernathy as they attend funeral services at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church for three of the four black girls killed in a church explosion in Birmingham, Ala., Sept. 18, 1963. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

President Kennedy stands with a group of leaders of the March on Washington at the White House in Washington. Immediately after the march, they discussed civil rights legislation that was finally inching through Congress. From second left are Whitney Young, National Urban League; Dr. Martin Luther King, Christian Leadership Conference; John Lewis, Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, partially obscured; Rabbi Joachim Prinz, American Jewish Congress; Dr. Eugene P. Donnaly, National Council of Churches; A. Philip Randolph, AFL-CIO vice president; Kennedy; Walter Reuther, United Auto Workers; Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, partially obscured, and Roy Wilkins, NAACP. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, left, and Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers Union, are shown together at meeting of African American leaders at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, July 2, 1963. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Integration leader Dr. Martin Luther King looks at a glass door of his rented beach cottage in St. Augustine, Fla. that was shot into by someone unknown on June 5, 1964. King took time out from conferring with St. Augustine integration leaders to inspect the house, which no one was in at the time of the shooting. (AP Photo/Jim Kerlin)

Martin Luther King Jr.

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson reaches to shake hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after presenting the civil rights leader with one of the 72 pens used to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Washington, D.C., on July 2, 1964. Surrounding the president, from left, are, Rep. Roland Libonati, D-Ill., Rep. Peter Rodino, D-N.J., Rev. King, Emanuel Celler, D-N.Y., and behind Celler is Whitney Young, executive director of the National Urban League. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Martin Luther King addresses a crowd estimated at 70,000 at a civil rights rally in Chicago’s Soldier Field, June 21, 1964. (AP Photo/Charles E. Knoblock)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. right, and Charles Evers, Miss. NAACP field secretary, enjoy laugh during fund raising time at mass rally in Jackson, Mississippi on July 22, 1964. (AP Photo/Jim Bourdier)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King speaks before the credentials committee of the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City on Aug. 22, 1964, in efforts to win accreditation for the group as Mississippiís delegation to the convention. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King with the check for 273,000 Swedish crownes in Norway, Dec. 11, 1964. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, chats with his wife, Coretta, left, and civil rights champion Constance Baker Motley before the start of an S.C.L.C. banquet Aug. 9, 1965, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy points to the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King was struck in Selma, Alabama on Jan. 18, 1965 as King attempted to register at a formerly white hotel. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King tells a news conference in Selma, Alabama on Feb. 5, 1965, that he feels there is a need for new legislation on the right to vote. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, third from right, marchers across the Alabama River on the first of a five day, 50 mile march to the state capitol at Montgomery, Ala., on March 21, 1965. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as he sits down following his speech to the joint session of the Massachusetts Legislature in Boston, April 22, 1965. Applauding at left is Massachusetts Attorney Gen. Edward W. Brooke. King will lead a civil rights march to Boston Common. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King urged in a press conference the Johnson administration consider prompt U.S. withdrawal from the Vietnam war, in Miami on April 13, 1966. (AP Photo/Toby Massey)

Martin Luther King Jr.

A Mississippi Highway Patrolman gestures with his thumb as he orders the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, right, and other marchers from the pavement of U.S. 51 near Hernando on June 7, 1966. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Consul-General for Sweden in New York City, Tore Tallroth, right, presents a $100,000 check to Dr. Martin Luther King, left, at Sweden House in New York, July 5, 1966. Singer-actor Harry Belafonte stands at center. (AP Photo/Jacob Harris)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Reporters interview the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., after a circuit court issued an injunction restricting civil rights marches in Chicago, Aug. 20, 1966. King labeled the action “unjust, illegal and unconstitutional.” (AP Photo/Larry Stoddard)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, Ga. on Oct. 24, 1966. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

A large portion of the estimated 5,000 who listened intently to Dr. Martin Luther King, arrow, lower right, from Sproul Hall, University of California administration building in Berkeley, Calif., May 17, 1967. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Leading the march against the Vietnam conflict are Dr. Benjamin Spock, tall, white-haired man, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., third from right, in a parade on State St. in Chicago, Ill., March 25, 1967. Dr. Spock is co-chairman of the National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy. (AP Photo)

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, and Bishop Julian Smith, left, flank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during a civil rights march in Memphis, Tenn., March 28, 1968. (AP Photo/Jack Thornell)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., left, who heads the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses a capacity crowd from the pulpit at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., March 31,1968. (AP Photo/John Rous)

Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., a day before he was assassinated at approximately the same place, April 3, 1968. From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King, and Ralph Abernathy. (AP Photo)