King was imprisoned nearly 30 times.
Did you know, King was imprisoned almost 30 times? The civil rights leader went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and for menial offences, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.
King nearly died before his fatal attack.
On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store. Izola Ware Curry approached him to ask if he was indeed Martin Luther King Jr. When King replied, yes, Curry stated she has been looking for him for five years and with that, stabbed him in the chest with a seven-inch letter opener. The tip of the blade was lodged next to his aorta, and King endured several hours of intensive emergency surgery. Surgeons later informed King that one jolt, like a sneeze, sneeze could have punctured his aorta and instantly killed him. From his hospital bed where he recouperated for several weeks, King sent out a statement re-affirming his nonviolent beliefs and declared that he felt no negative feelings toward his mentally deranged attacker.
In King’s last public speech, he sensed death was upon him.
King had come to Memphis in April 1968 to support the strike of the city’s black garbage workers, and in a speech on the night before his assassination, he told an audience at Mason Temple Church: “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
King’s beloved mother was also assassinated.
On June 30, 1974, as 69-year-old Alberta Williams King played the organ at a Sunday service inside Ebenezer Baptist Church, Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. rose from the front pew, drew two pistols and began to fire shots. One of the bullets struck and killed King, who died steps from where her son had preached nonviolence. The deranged gunman said that Christians were his enemy and that although he had received divine instructions to kill King’s father, who was in the congregation, he killed King’s mother instead because she was closer. The shooting also left a church deacon dead. Chenault received a death penalty sentence that was later changed to life imprisonment, in part due to the King family’s opposition to capital punishment.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a saint and a rebel and ultimately, a martyr. He died believing in his cause. Believing in a cause that everyman has a living right to equal rights. He stood for unconditional love, no matter your race. He stood for each individual being treated with dignity, honor and respect.
Be fearless, as King was, in pursuing your dreams – It’s what makes life worth living!
King was a hero partly because he allowed nothing to come between him and his vision and he never regretted even after possibly losing his life. His issued statement. while recovering in the hospital, confirmed that hate never was or is the answer but universal love is.
Martin Luther had an unstoppable dream – that dream is still unstoppable.
You can have a dream too and be unstoppable too.