Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

He was born Michael King, but his father changed his name in honor of German reformerMartin Luther. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962, and organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medalposthumously. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets and a county in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor. A memorial statue on the National Mall was opened to the public in 2011.

The Scout Service Center and Scout Shop will closed in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday, January 20, 2014.