Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.


Skylynn McDowell, Reporter

January 15 was the birthday of one of the most influential men in American history. This man helped the country take enormous steps towards equality in the 1950s and 1960s. This man was Martin Luther King Jr. Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we celebrate all of the amazing things that he has done to help shape our country.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929. His original name was Michael, but as a teenager he changed it to Martin in honor of his father. He also graduated high school as a young teenager. In fact, he graduated when he was only fifteen years old.
Some of the major things that Martin Luther King Jr. did include but are not limited to becoming the first ever president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (a Civil Rights organization), having a large role in the planning of The Great March on Washington, and giving the famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most well known leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1964, when Dr. King was thirty-five years of age, he received the Nobel Peace Prize along with $54,123 as a part of the award. He sent all of the money to help fund the Civil Rights Movement.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. It is said that James Earl Ray was the assassin, but King’s family is under the belief that it was someone else entirely. If you would like to learn more about the mystery, this article from the Washington Post goes quite in depth about it: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/03/30/who-killed-martin-luther-king-jr-his-family-believes-james-earl-ray-was-framed/
In my opinion, it is important not to focus too much about Martin Luther King Jr.’s death today and instead focus on how he lived. I suggest taking a few moments to truly appreciate Dr. King, for he did much more than get us the day off of school.