Did you know:
He was born Michael but later changed his name to Martin after a family visit to Europe where his father changed both their names to honor Protestant leader Martin Luther.
At the age of thirty-five, he was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize.
He gave the Nobel prize money to furthering the civil rights movement.
He visited Gandhi's birthplace in India and the trip deepened his belief in non-violent resistance being the best weapon available to oppressed people.
King opposed the Vietnam War. As the U.S spend more and more on military and less and less on social welfare services he said: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death"
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill to create a federal holiday to honor King. It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986 and called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It's observed the third Monday of January each year.
The Martin Luther King Memorial is to be unveiled this August on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
It will feature a 28 foot statue of the civil rights leader as well as stones with 15 of his most famous quotes.
-"Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"
-"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend".
-"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence, but also internal violence of spirit.
You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him".
-"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity".