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Martin Luther King, Jr. was probably best known as one of the main leaders of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.  But he was also a pastor, activist and humanitarian.

On a trip to India, King was inspired by Mahatma Gandi’s success with non-violent activism.  This trip helped MLK Jr. deepen his understanding of non-violence resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights.

At 6:01 p.m. on April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was hit by a sniper’s bullet. King had been standing on the balcony in front of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, when, without warning, he was shot.

The FBI investigated the crime, but many believed them partially or fully responsible for the assassination. An escaped convict by the name of James Earl Ray was arrested, but many people, including some of Martin Luther King Jr.’s own family, believe he was innocent.

I Have a Dream” is a public speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States.  The speech was delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, the speech is hailed as a defining moment  for Civil Rights Movement.

Check out the Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech below.

Today In History: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY  was originally published on