The Importance of an Icon
Everyone is familiar with Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous speech. If you are interested in Martin Luther King Jr. facts, there are hundreds of stories about his life and impact available. As one of the most influential Americans in the 20th century, Martin Luther King facts are also ideal for classrooms and other learning situations.
Dr. King’s Positive Impact
One of the most interesting facts about Martin Luther King Jr. is that he had a positive impact on racial equality in ways that were hidden from the public eye. King convinced the only African American woman on television who was portrayed as an equal to continue her work on the show “Star Trek”.
Nichelle Nichols, who played the character Uruah on the show, influenced superstar Whoopi Goldberg to star in her own role on the show later. MLK’s persuasion of Nichelle Nichols also had an impact on other African Americans. Ronald McNair, an astronaut and the second African American in space, claims the actress gave him the inspiration to become involved in science.
A Stressful Life
Martin Luther King facts also point out that this now legendary speaker experienced a lot of stress before his death. At King’s autopsy, the coroner determined that King’s heart showed aging well beyond the thirty-nine years he lived. King had good reason to feel some stress. His home was bombed, he experienced the sudden and violent death of his mother as she was shot during a church service and he was attacked, and was nearly killed, by Izola Ware Curry in 1958.
The facts about Martin Luther King Jr. also show his success and accomplishments. MLK was the valedictorian of his class and graduated with his Bachelors degree at the young age of 19 after being allowed to graduate from high school at 14. King was also the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35.
King and The Government
Perhaps the most interesting of all Martin Luther King Jr. facts is that his death was ruled a conspiracy in 1999. Courts initially determined that a single person had been responsible for King’s death but later found that the conspiracy to assassinate King included government officials.
The FBI began listening in on MLK’s phone calls as early as 1963. After being under surveillance for several years, the FBI began sending harassing letters about indiscretions that King was alleged to have. The files compiled by the FBI were kept classified until the year 2007.
Martin Luther King Jr. today is held in high esteem. National Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a nationally recognized holiday and there are over 1,000 streets in the United States named after this historic figure. Martin Luther King Jr. remains one of the most influential people in America’s history.