Tag Archives: MLK50

King Refresher


MLK50 - What will you be doing on April 4, 2018?

It was Rev. Jesse Jackson who gave Coretta Scott King the bad news… But he lied. He did not tell her the truth regarding the severity of the gun shot wound that felled her husband, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jackson was trying to protect her, to ease her pain. The damage was much worst. The bullet smashed his jaw, and traveled downward into his spinal column. Dr. King was dead.

Fifty years later, African-American Perspective Newsletter publisher Richard James recalls that night… April 4, 1968. “I was in the United States Air Force, stationed at newly computerized radar site in Maine. The commanding officer switched on the TV and asked all the radar operators to abandon their scopes to watch tragic history unfold. My co-workers and I saw the filmed announcement by Robert Kennedy, the Attorney Robert F. KennedyGeneral of the US, brother of slain President Kennedy, tell a crowd that Martin Luther King had been shot and killed. I was paralyzed with sadness but I dared not to cry openly. King, the man with the eloquent voice was gone. Taken away. I was sad. The anger would come later.”

Racial turmoil erupted in the country’s urban centers. The death of a man that promoted non-violent resistance, ironically stirred people to massive random acts of violence. At that time, we did not know that RFK would also be killed by a gunman later that year. Nineteen sixty-eight was a hell of a year.

In honor of Dr. King, let’s do quick review of his life:

January 15, 1929 – Martin Luther King, Jr, born in Atlanta, Georgia

February 25, 1948 – King is ordained at Ebenezer Baptist Church

June 8, 1948 – King graduates from Morehouse College

(King was only 19 years old)

May 8, 1951 – King receives Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary

June 18, 1953 – King and Coretta Scott are married

May 2, 1954 – King delivers his first sermon as Dexter Avenue Baptist Church’s new minister, Montgomery Alabama

August 28, 1955 – Emmett Till murdered in Money Mississippi

Blacks across the deep South outraged.

December 1, 1955 – Rosa Parks is arrested for not giving her seat to a white man, Montgomery Alabama

December 2 – Women’s Political Council calls for bus boycott in Montgomery – Montgomery Improvement Association formed

January 12, 1956 – MIA board prolongs boycott indefinitely

January 30 – King’s house is bombed (but no one hurt)

April 23 – Supreme Court affirms appellate court’s ruling on bus segregation

April 24 – Montgomery mayor refuses to enforce Supreme Court’s ruling

November 15 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that bus segregation laws are unconstitutional

December 21 – Montgomery City Lines resumes full bus service

December 23 – King’s home attacked in the aftermath of bus desegregationSnipers attack buses, more bombings.

February 14, 1957 – King is elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

September 20, 1958 – King is stabbed in Harlem department store

(Between 1958 and 1963 King crisscrossed the country giving lectures, raising funds, doing TV interviews, leading protest marches, negotiating with business and government leaders.)

April 12, 1963 – King and Abernathy are arrested in Birmingham, Alabama. King writes his famous letter from Jail.

August 28 – March on Washington King’s I have a Dream Speech delivered to tens of thousands.

November 22 – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas

March 26, 1964 – King meets Malcolm X

December 10,  King receives Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Norway

February 21, 1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem NYC

August 6 – The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is signed into law

January 7, 1966 – King announces the start of the Chicago Campaign

August 5 – Angry whites attack civil rights march through Chicago’s southwest side

Dr. King was not well liked. He was pushing the country to fast in 1966. Few Americans approved of his tactics the he turned attention to the northern cities.

April 4, 1967 – King delivers his first public antiwar speech, “Beyond Vietnam,” at New York’s Riverside Church

December 4 – King launches the Poor People’s Campaign

March 18, 1968 – King speaks to striking sanitation workers in Memphis

April 3 – King delivers his final speech

April 4 – King is assassinated at Lorraine Motel

President Ronald Reagan signed the Martin Luther King Holiday Bill into law on Nov. 2, 1983