Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man who worked hard to bring equal rights to African Americans.
Martin Luther King was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. From an early age he was upset at how black people were treated. He did not understand why he was not allowed to play with white children, go to the same schools, eat in the same restaurants, or even sit at the front of a public bus.
Martin Luther King studied to become a minister. He moved to Alabama and spent the rest of his life trying to make the world a better and fairer place.
Dr. King led marches in many cities. Thousands joined him to protest unfair laws. Even though he believed in peaceful protest, Dr. King was arrested 29 times.
Martin Luther King was a fantastic speaker. In 1963 he gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Here is a quote from it:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
In 1964, a year after that speech, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. This law made it illegal for people to treat others unfairly because of their skin color. In that same year, Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize, one of the highest honors in the world.
Martin Luther King had many enemies. His life ended in 1968, when at the age of 39, he was killed by a gunman.
Dr. King’s birthday is now a national holiday. Americans honor him on Martin Luther King Day, the third Monday in January.