In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we decided to compile a few interesting facts about this inspirational leader that you may have not known.
His name was originally Michael, not Martin. His father was also Michael King. After a trip to Germany in 1931, Michael King Sr. changed his name in homage to historic German theologian Martin Luther. King made the decision to change his son’s name to Martin Luther as well.
MLK Jr. went to college at age 15. Martin Luther King Jr. skipped both 9th and 11th grade and went on to attend Moorehouse College. By age 19, he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
He got a C in public speaking during his first year at seminary. Despite this, his father noted that even before going to seminary, his son was one of the best public speakers he’d seen. Luckily, King Jr.’s final year showcased straight A’s, making him valedictorian of his class..
It wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day. New Hampshire joined in 1999 with Utah following in 2000. The holiday was originally signed into federal law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, with the first MLK holiday held on January 20, 1986.
Today over 700 streets in the Unites States are named after Martin Luther King Jr.