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Martin Luther King Jr.’s life is rich and full of great history.  We’re fortunate enough to have documents, video, audio and other information available to study, watch and review.  Here’s a few tidbits you can add to your MLK files if you didn’t know about the birthday guy.

1.  Did you know he was originally named Michael King Jr? He and his father were both named Michael King and Michael King Jr.  Then in 1934, the family traveled to Europe and visited Germany and the elder King changed both of their first names to Martin in honor of German Protestant leader Martin Luther.

2.  Did you know Martin Luther King Jr. entered Morehouse College at 15? Martin was referred to as  “precocious” as a youth and skipped the ninth and twelfth grade without formally graduating from high school.

3. Did you know Martin Luther King Jr. was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil obedience?

4. Did you know his trip to India in 1959 to Gandhi’s birthplace was life changing? The journey affected him so much that his understanding of Ghandi and of non-violent resistance heightened his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights.  King’s son, Martin III, stated in a past article by Washington Post, “My parents had often shared with me how moving their experience in India was. My father said he came to many countries as a tourist, but he came to India as a pilgrim.”

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

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