28 Martin Luther King Jr My Favorite American - Hauger History Podcast

January 15, 2017

I can't think of a single American who embodies the qualities of a leader more than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is my favorite American. He deserves his holiday, in a country where individual people have very few national holidays to memorialize them. His efforts and legacy live on as a reminder to me to do what I can for equality and justice. I am grateful to have been taught about his important work, and in a small podcast effort, in my humble way, offer this moment of thanks to Dr. King for his tireless work, and that I should remember to teach my students that the work is not yet over. 

  • "Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
  • Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) is my favorite American. Bravery as notable as any figure, humility to take on a great cause without expecting personal gain, and dignity, the belief in rights and equality, with the presence of mind and persistence to continue his important work, regardless of consequences.
  • Students, this podcast is a preview of a great man, in all senses. I encourage you to follow up this podcast with some research of your own.
  • Dr. King was a Baptist minister and an educated man from morehouse College, where he started at age 15, Crozer Theological Seminary, and graduate school at Boston university. He was well read. He gained from theorists, philosophers, and became school class president senior year in a mostly white class.
  • We often speak about King’s role as asocial activist. His pivotal role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence such as Gandhi, King towards equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind cornerstone events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986.
  • Here are a few tips you might not have known, according to NewsFoxes: 1. King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin.
  • The civil rights leader was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his 5-year-old son.
  • King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leadership.
  • King was jailed 29 times.
  • According to the King Center, the civil rights leader went to jail nearly 30 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.
  • King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death, on September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry. The woman asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. After he said yes, Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade came to rest alongside his aorta, and King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery. Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could have punctured the aorta and killed him. From his hospital bed where he convalesced for weeks, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent principles and saying he felt no ill will toward his mentally ill attacker.

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