Dr. King’s assassination at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III will lead a march to the hotel to commemorate this historical event. I will take time on Friday to reflect on how far the world has come in these 40 years and how much will still need to strive for both globally and in America. For this edition of Thursday Thirteen I will share some little known facts about Dr. King.
1. Dr. King was a Republican - Most people would assume that because Dr. King was black, and fought for the rights of the underprivileged, that he would naturally be a Democrat. But the truth is that by many accounts, Dr. King was a Republican, and more conservative in his views.
2. Dr. King was a dedicated Fraternity man – He was a member of Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. as the number 5 of his line in spring of '52.
3. He changed his name from Michael to Martin, but there is no evidence that he changed it legally.
4. In 1964, Dr. King became the first black American to be honored as Time magazine's Man of the Year.
5. King's efforts were not limited to securing civil rights; he also spoke out vehemently against poverty and the Vietnam War.
6. Besides his doctoral degree from Boston University, Dr. King was awarded 20 honorary doctoral degrees, from numerous colleges.
7. Dr. King became an ordained minister in 1948 at the age of nineteen.
8. Selected one of the most outstanding personalities of the year by Time Magazine in1957.
9. He entered Morehouse College at 15 and in 1948 he graduated with a B.A. degree in Sociology.
10. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover waged a bitter war of surveillance and harassment, declaring him "the most dangerous man in America.
11. He rejected a series of academic offers, opting instead to become pastor of Montgomery, AL's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
12. The Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated became a civil rights museum in 1991.
13. Mrs. Coretta Scott King spoke at the funeral of her husband, eloquently stating, "The day that Negro people and others in bondage are truly free, on the day `want' is abolished, on the day `wars' are no more, on that day, I know my husband will rest in a long-deserved peace."