January 15, 1929
King is born in Atlanta, Georgia,to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King

February 25, 1948
King is ordained to the Baptist ministry.

June 21, 1948
King graduates from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Sociology.

June 18, 1953
King marries Coretta Scott in Marion, Alabama.

May 17, 1954
King visits Washington, D.C. The United States Supreme Court in "Brown vs. Board of Education" rules segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

October 13, 1954
King is installed as Pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

June 5, 1955
King receives doctoral degree in Systematic Theology from Boston University.

December 1, 1955
In Montgomery, Mrs. Rosa Parks refuses to relinquish her bus seat to a white man and is arrested. This incident touches off a massive bus boycott, led by King as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association.

December 21, 1956
After a successful city-wide boycott, Montgomery Bus Company announced integration of all public buses.

February 12, 1957
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is founded. King is elected president, and shortly thereafter Time Magazine puts him on its cover.

April 15, 1960
King is invited to a meeting at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, of college students from around the nation. He urges them to form their own direct action organization. After a speech by Dr. King in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was born.

April 16, 1963
King writes the famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail" while imprisoned for demonstrating against the segregation of eating facilities in that city.

August 28, 1963
King delivers his "I Have A Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the "March on Washington", the first massive national integrated protest march in America. Attended by over 260,000 people, the march brought international attention to the civil rights movement.

July 2, 1964
King attends the signing of the Public Accommodations Bill, part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House.

December 10, 1964
King receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

March 21, 1965
Thousands of protesters, protected by Federal troops, begin the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Upon arriving at the state capital, King delivers a speech on voting rights.

August 6, 1965
The 1965 Voting Rights Act is signed into law by President Johnson.

November 27, 1967
King announces the formation by the SCLC of a "Poor People's Campaign", which will aim to help both poor whites and blacks.

March 28, 1968
King leads thousands of protesters in a march through downtown Memphis, Tennessee, in support of striking sanitation workers.

April 3, 1968
King delivers his "I've been to the Mountain Top" speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.

April 4, 1968
While speaking from the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Dr. King is assassinated by a sniper. James Earl Ray is later captured and convicted of murder.

January 18, 1986
After 18 years of intense lobbying by hundreds of leaders of all races, the United States Congress passed Public Law 98-144. On this day, President Ronald Reagan declares the first observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday to be a national holiday, celebrated on the third Monday of each January hereafter.