Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Winona State University celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

Haley Loeffler/Winonan

Winona State University recently had a day off in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

In the same week, our 44th president was sworn into office. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed trying to accomplish something this great.

King was born Michael Luther King Jr. but later changed his name to Martin.

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His grandfather marked the beginning of a line of Baptist pastors to come from the King household.

King attended a segregated high school in Georgia where he graduated at age fifteen.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated.

After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in 1951.

With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955.

In Boston, he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

By 1954, King was a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In early December of 1955, he was asked to lead the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted a total of 382 days.

During that time, King was beaten, his home was bombed and he was arrested. But he was then revered as a victorious leader.

In 1957, King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, dedicated to train leaders for the civil rights movement.The ideals for this organization came from Christianity, while the operational techniques came from Gandhi.

He wrote five books, as well as numerous articles. He led a massive protest in Birmingham, Ala. that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution.

He planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters, he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C. of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”.

King conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson.

King was arrested upward of 20 times and assaulted at least four times. He was awarded five honorary degrees and was named Man of the Year by “Time” magazine in 1963.

King became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

At 35-years-old, King was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, he was assassinated.

Fast-forward 45 years, and we are swearing in Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.

Our country faces new challenges today, new stereotypes and new fears. King showed that fear is the only thing stopping peace and unity. The same applies today, with the many different races and religions coming into practice in the Land of the Free.

All information was provided by the Nobel Peace Prize biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

Contact Haley at [email protected]

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