Everyone wants to change the world, but most lack the charisma, courage, motivation, or all of the above. However, there are a few who will stop at nothing to change the world, and one of those few will be remembered on Jan. 21. He goes by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr.
King was born on Jan. 15, 1929 with the original name of Michael. He was born to Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. His father and grandfather were both pastors, so it was never a question King was destined to carry on the tradition. In 1954, Martin Luther King, Jr. became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. It was here he discovered the corruption among the African-American civil rights system.
Prior to becoming a pastor, King had become a board member in the Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People, so his move to Montgomery only strengthened his beliefs. King was determined to see to it that his children and all African Americans to come had more equal rights as African Americans. He led many civil rights movements, but always encouraged non-violent forms of protest. King became a powerful motivational speaker, most famous for his “I Have A Dream” speech. In 1964, when King was 35, he became the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent efforts in the civil rights movement.
Throughout his career, King had many threats, some serious and some not, but his life was eventually cut to short on April 4, 1968. King was shot while giving a speech on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray, his assassin, pleaded guilty and was convicted to murder. He later died in 1998 while in prison. However, throughout Ray’s sentence he, backed by many of King’s family, pleaded there was a conspiracy involved. In 1999, King’s family won a wrongful death charge against Loyd Jowers, who claimed he was a Mafia figure in the death plot. It seemed the King family could finally be settled with who killed their beloved family member. That was, until 2000 when the Justice Department discredited Jowers saying there was not enough solid evidence to conclude Jowers took part in the murder.
To this day, questions have yet to be answered regarding King’s murder, but one thing is for sure, Martin Luther King, Jr. will forever be remembered as the man on a mission.