Martin Luther King Jr., 1964
Martin Luther King Jr. was a leading figure in the American civil rights movement noted for his support of non-violence and civil disobedience.
King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929. In 1955, while working as a Baptist minister in Montgomery, Alabama, he led a successful year-long boycott of the city’s segregated bus lines. In 1957, King became president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which worked to provide coordination and leadership for the civil rights movement.
1963 saw King take part in a desegregation campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. He was jailed for his involvement and during this time penned his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Later that year, he gave his renowned “I Have a Dream” speech at the March for Jobs and Freedom, also called the March on Washington. In 1964, at age 35, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Starting around 1965, King began to focus on issues beyond civil rights, such as poverty and opposition to the Vietnam War. On April 4, 1968, King was shot and killed at a motel in Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to the assassination. King’s funeral was held on April 9.
Since 1986, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been celebrated as a U.S. national holiday on the third Monday in January to commemorate King’s birthday.
Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about Martin Luther King Jr.
Montgomery newspaper's opinion of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955 Thu, Dec 8, 1955 – 4 · The Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Alabama) · Newspapers.comMontgomery Bus Boycott comes to an end, 1956 Thu, Nov 15, 1956 – Page 56 · The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware) · Newspapers.comMartin Luther King Jr.'s Montgomery home is bombed, 1956 Tue, Jan 31, 1956 – 1 · The Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Alabama) · Newspapers.comMartin Luther King Jr. is stabbed in Harlem, 1958 Sun, Sep 21, 1958 – 1 · Daily News (New York, New York) · Newspapers.comInspired by Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. travels to India, 1959 Sat, Feb 21, 1959 – Page 1 · The New York Age (New York, New York) · Newspapers.comMartin Luther King Jr. is arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 Sat, Apr 13, 1963 – Page 1 · The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon) · Newspapers.comCoverage of the March on Washington, 1963 Thu, Aug 29, 1963 – Page 1 · Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) · Newspapers.comEditorial on Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, 1963 Thu, Aug 29, 1963 – Page 3 · Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park, New Jersey) · Newspapers.comPhotos from the March on Washington, 1963 Thu, Aug 29, 1963 – Page 3 · The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa) · Newspapers.comMartin Luther King Jr. accepts the Nobel Peace Prize, 1964 Fri, Dec 11, 1964 – Page 7 · The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, California) · Newspapers.comMartin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, 1968 Fri, Apr 5, 1968 – Page 1 · The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri) · Newspapers.comMartin Luther King Jr.'s funeral, 1968 Wed, Apr 10, 1968 – Page 1 · The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) · Newspapers.comPresident Reagan signs legislation creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as national holiday, 1983 Thu, Nov 3, 1983 – Page 1 · The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) · Newspapers.com