7 Little-Known Facts About Martin Luther King Jr.
Today we celebrate the life of the Civil Rights Movement in America. As you reflect and remember, here are a few facts about Dr. King, you may not know.
1. Martin Luther King Jr.'s name is really not Martin. His mother named him Michael and was called Mike by family and friends. His father changed his name to Martin after visiting Germany and becoming very fond of the first Protestant, Martin Luther.
2. Dr. King skipped the 9th and 12th grades entering Morehouse College in 1944 at the age of 15. By 19 he had his Bachelor's Degree in Sociology.
3. In 1964 Dr. King was the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35. The $54,000 that he was given for the award, he donated all to the Civil Rights efforts.
4. As a young man, Dr. King fell in love with a white cafeteria worker at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. His father wanted him to marry opera singer Mattiwilda Dobbs, whose father founded the Atlanta Civic League and the Atlanta Negro Voters League. So, his father was really not pleased when he married Coretta Scott.
5. Dr. King was the first black to be Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1963. The only other black man to receive this title was Barack Obama in 2008.
6. In 1958 King was stabbed by a mentally ill woman named Izola Curry with a letter opener. She perforated his aorta and he had to have an emergency surgery. He later publicly forgave her.
7. President Ronald Reagan made Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday. The first MLK Day was celebrated in 1986.