Here are 6 fun facts for kids about Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s real name was Michael King
He changed his name later in life after his father, Michael King Sr., changed his name to “Martin Luther” in honor of the religious leader Martin Luther.
He followed in his father’s footsteps and became a preacher
Martin Luther King Jr. originally studied law and medicine, but decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pastor. He earned his doctorate in systematic theology from Boston University.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings were heavily influenced by the peaceful philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi
He was very much against violence and spoke out against it. Favoring peaceful demonstrations and interactions, he encouraged people to speak up civilly. He believed that words were more powerful than violence and proved it with his nonviolent demonstrations and speeches. Many of his speeches and quotes played an integral part in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. He said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
He is the only non-President to have a national holiday dedicated to him
Not only is Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrated in January, he is also the only non-president to be honored on the Great Mall in Washington, D.C. That’s quite an honor and one that’s well-deserved based on his achievements and commitment to nonviolence and racial equality.
Martin Luther King Jr. was the youngest man to receive a Nobel Prize
He was 35 years old when he won a Nobel Prize. Instead of keeping the money that accompanied the prize for himself, he poured it back into furthering the Civil Right Movement.
He was arrested about 20 times
Despite his peaceful nature and protests, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested about 20 times. He was even assaulted multiple times, as well!