Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr Day

Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King, Jr with medallion
photo by Phil Stanziola, NYWT&S
Library of Congress Collection
List of Little Known Facts about MLK (various sources)*:

1. In 1934, five years after his birth, his family discovered Martin's name had been recorded wrong on his birth certificate. The certificate said Michael King, so his name had to be legally changed to Martin Luther King Jr.
2. In 1939, Martin sang with his church choir in Atlanta at the gala premiere of the movie Gone With The Wind.
3. He skipped the 9th and 12th grades in school and entered Moorehouse College at age 15.
4. He had Bachelor degrees in sociology and theology. In 1955 he received his PH. D. from Boston University.
5. From 1957 until his death in 1968, he traveled more than 6 million miles. He gave over 2500 speeches during his travels. He also wrote 5 books and had published countless numbers of articles in newspapers and magazines.
6. In 1964, at age 35, he was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
7. According to a Gallup poll, King is the second most admired person in the 20th century.
8. In a contest sponsored by the Discovery Channel, he was voted the 3rd Greatest American of all time.
9. Presently there are 900+ U.S. cities that have streets named after King.
10. King is 1 of 10 20th century world martyrs who has a statue at Westminster Abbey.
11. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Trekkie - King watched the show with his family and even convinced actress Nichelle “Lt. Uhura” Nichols to stay on the show. The gifted orator reportedly told her: "You are part of history, and it’s your responsibility, even though it wasn’t your career choice."
12. Martin Luther King’s  “traveling bible” was used to swear in President Obama at his second inauguration.
13. He spent his wedding night in a funeral home - when MLK Jr. married Coretta Scott in 1953, the newlyweds were not allowed to spend their honeymoon in a white-owned hotel, so the couple spent their wedding night at a black funeral home.
14. His favorite pie was pecan - The American icon's favorite foods were fried chicken and pecan pie.
15. 'I Have A Dream' was largely improvised -  according to his autobiography, King's famed "I Have A Dream" speech was largely improvised.
16. He had the heart of a 60-year-old when he died - although King was only 39 when he was assassinated, his autopsy revealed he had the heart of a 60 year old. The doctor believed this was a result of heavy stress.
17. Martin Luther King, Jr Day was not recognized as a national holiday by all fifty states until 2000.
18. The U2 song Pride (in the Name of Love) was written about Martin Luther King, Jr.
19. He was the first African American to be named Time Man of the Year (1964).
20. The Martin Luther King Memorial  on the National Mall is the first to honor a non-president.

* Huffington Post
  London School of Economics
  Holiday Inn Blog

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