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Martin Luther King, Jr. in New York

Civil Rights Leader Made a Difference in New York City


Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), was a Baptist minister and a hero in the civil rights movement in America. King advocated nonviolent, direct action in the struggle against racism and his efforts won him the Nobel Peace Prize and international fame before his tragic death in 1968 at the age of only 39.

A Heroic Life Cut Short

A child prodigy, King entered college at age 15 and was ordained as a minister of the Baptist Church at age 19. He first gained national attention by spearheading the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which led to desegregation of the city’s buses in 1956.

In 1963, King organized the March on Washington to support proposed civil rights legislation. In Washington, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In 1964, King became the youngest man, the second American, and the third black man to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. He is remembered as an American hero continues to inspire people all over the world. Americans recognize King every year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday on the third Monday in January (close to King’s birthday on January 15th).

Martin Luther King, Jr. in New York City

  • In 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was stabbed by a mentally-unstable woman in Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem. The 29-year-old King was rushed to Harlem Hospital, where doctors performed emergency surgery to remove a steel letter opener.

  • In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the largest antiwar demonstration to date in New York City. More than 1,100 people marched with King from Central Park to U.N. headquarters to protest the Vietnam War.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered today in New York with a street named in his honor. Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard is an alternative name for Manhattan’s 125th Street. There is also a Martin Luther King, Jr. High School on Amsterdam Avenue and a Martin Luther King Triangle, a park space in Manhattan’s Mott Haven neighborhood (Austin Place and East 149th Street).

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