The Harris County Historical Commission
honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King was born in Atlanta, GA, in 1929. He graduated from Morehouse College at the top of his class and received a PhD in systematic theology from Boston University. He served as pastor of the Drexel Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL.
His importance to American culture is as the leader of the non-violent movement that swept the nation in the 1950’s and 1960’s to bring equality to minorities. Under his leadership, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized sit-ins and boycotts that brought attention to the equal rights movement, and Dr. King spoke eloquently on the subject through his writings and speeches, especially the “I Have a Dream” speech given during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.
Dr. King received the Springarn Medal, the most prestigious award given by the National Association of Colored People, in 1957, and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. As a direct result of the movement led by Dr. King, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was assassinated in Memphis, TN, on April 4, 1968, but his memory is kept alive through the ongoing movement for racial equality and in monuments such as the statue in Hermann Park. HIs legacy continues and is visible in Harris County in many ways.