The Office of Intercultural Affairs chose Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” because it perfectly encompassed what we wished to promote on this blog- provoking thoughts and discussions concerning topics and issues that matter. As Martin Luther King Day approaches, we thought it would be interesting to share some little known facts about the man who had a dream.
- Martin was originally a Michael! His father decided to change both his and 2 year old Jr.’s name after traveling to Germany and learning more about the theologian Martin Luther.
- Martin Luther was a closet smoker! He would often smoke cigarettes, but did his best to avoid pictures of him smoking to avoid the negative stereotypes and to avoid poorly influencing his children.
- The man that recited one of the most monumental speeches in U.S. history ironically earned a C in public speaking. He later went on to graduate as valedictorian and student body president.
- Martin Luther Jr. is the second youngest male to win the Nobel Peace Prize: 1964 at the age of 35. The youngest male is Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, who was 32 when he received it in 2011.
- King went on to donate all of his winnings from the Nobel Peace Prize to the Civil Rights movement.
- MLK has a Grammy! He won it for Best Spoken Word Album in 1971. His speech was “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.”
- Martin Luther King Jr. is one of three people in American history that have national holiday in their name. However he was the only United States native since George Washington was born in Virginia before the USA existed, and Christopher Columbus was native to Italy.
- There are now more than 700 streets named after Martin Luther King Jr., one is right near Clark University in downtown Worcester!
Happy Martin Luther King Day!