Martin Luther King day celebrated | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 23, 2018

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Martin Luther King day celebrated

Every year citizens across the world celebrate the life of the US civil rights movement's best-known spokesman and leader on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The movement pioneered by Martin Luther King pressured the American government to end legalised segregation in the United States.

Born in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr was a Baptist minister best known for using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience to combat racial inequality. Mr King led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. He helped to organise the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his famous 'I Have a Dream speech' and earned reputation as one of he greatest public speakers in American history. More of King's famous quotes include 'injustice is a threat to justice everywhere', and 'our lives begin to end the day we become silent on the things that matter'. He took a stand against segregation after African-American woman Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white person. After campaigning continued for a year, the US Supreme Court ruled on December 20, 1956 that Alabama and Montgomery segregated buses were unconstitutional

 He became the youngest man ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize aged 35 in 1964 for advocating non-violent protest. Towards the end of his life, he expanded his campaigning to include opposition to poverty and the Vietnam War. King organised several nonviolent protests and marches in the following decade.

Mr King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on 4 April, 1968, in Memphis,Tennessee, while he was planning a national occupation of Washington DC. News of his death was followed by riots in many US cities.

The day is observed on the third Monday of January each year, the day closest to his birthday on 15 January. This year, it was celebrated on Monday 15 January. Hundreds of streets in the United States have been renamed in King's honour, as well as a whole county in Washington State.

Nearly 50 years after his death, King continues to inspire, former President Barack Obama famously asked for his bust to be placed in the Oval Office.

 

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