Martin Luther King Jr. was the personification of the civil rights movement. Seeking to transform his anger against a segregated and hateful world, he found a weapon in Gandhi's teachings of nonviolent resistance. In 1962, as fire hoses and police dogs were unleashed on peaceful marchers in Birmingham, Alabama, in full view of television cameras, the Civil Rights movement acquired multiracial momentum.
King's subsequent arrest led to the publication of his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," an eloquent treatise on nonviolence credited with pressuring the federal government to sponsor an historic civil rights bill. In 1963, at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" speech to a throng of thousands. He won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. An assassin's bullet ended his life in 1968.
Researched by Joan Levinstein, the Time Inc. Research Center