Doctor King was born in Atlanta, GA on January 15, 1929 in this house at 501 Auburn Avenue, about a block from the church where his father was a minister. The National Park Services are preserving the house and its surroundings as a National Historic Site. I had been there years ago and I remembered I was impressed. So it was way up high on my list of places to see in beautiful Atlanta.
Doctor King would be in the frontline of the American civil rights movement all his life. In 1963 he organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, AL and a march on Washington where he delivered his famous I Have A Dream speech. In ’64 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price. In 1965 he helped organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, beautifully depicted in the Oscar-winning movie Selma directed by Ava DuVernay.
He was so important to the civil rights movement in the US that is birthday is in fact a legal holiday in the US.
In April 1968 he traveled to Memphis, TN to support the city’s sanitation workers who had gone on strike in protest against poor pay and dangerous working conditions. On April 4th, 1968 he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. An event that inspired U2 to write Pride (In The Name Of Love). So I obviously had to have the song in my travel soundtrack.
After his death he was laid to rest at the Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta, GA. Later, his wife, Coretta Scott King was buried right beside him.