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Martin Luther King Jr. Fun Facts: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Christian Pastor

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 01:18 PM

You may have read books and seen movies about Martin Luther King, Jr., but you might not know these facts about the beloved Baptist preacher and civil rights leader.

1. He loved to smoke
Pictures of him smoking are rare, but he loved cigarettes. He tried to keep his habit out of the public eye partially due to the stigma, particularly within the church at the time, but also because he didn’t want his kids to take up smoking.

According to Rev. Kyles, after King, Jr. was shot but before the ambulance took him away, Kyles removed the package of cigarettes from King’s pocket and got rid of the cigarette butt, partially to attempt to hide the fact that King was smoking at the time he was shot, according to Today I Found Out.

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2. He was an advanced student
Martin Luther King, Jr. entered college at the age of 15. He was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling at Morehouse College in 1944. It was the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather, according to History.com.

3. He wasn’t a natural public speaker
Dr. King got a C in public speaking at seminary school. However, in his third and final year, he was valedictorian with straight A’s, according to Constitution Daily.

4. He was the youngest Nobel recipient of his time
When Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, at the time he was the youngest Peace Prize winner ever, at the age of 35.

Currently, Malala Yousafzai is the youngest winner on record; she was 17 when she won the prize in 2014, according to Constitution Daily.

5. He was in jail many times
Dr. King was jailed 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and was a victim of trumped-up charges. For example, he was jailed in Alabama in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone, according to History.com.

6. He had a deathly wedding night
After Dr. King got married, his friend who owned a funeral parlor let him use it for his wedding night.

7. He was almost in an interracial relationship
Dr. King wanted to marry a white cafeteria worker. At Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania during the late 1940s, he fell in love with a German cafeteria employee named Betty.

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Fellow seminarians, both white and black, talked him out of it, partially on the grounds that King's father would frown upon the interracial romance of a son he was grooming for a successor role in the pulpit.

Not only would the relationship have been taboo in King's native Atlanta, but even had King chosen to pastor in the North, MLK Sr. would have still viewed the cafeteria worker as below his son's station, according to Alternet.

8. He received a Grammy
He won a Grammy. Sure, Dr. King sang with his church choir as a child at the gala premiere of “Gone With The Wind,” but he wasn’t known for his singing skills.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1971 that Dr. King won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. The posthumous honor was given for his album "Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam,” according to All That Is Interesting.

9. It took a while for his holiday to be recognized
All 50 states didn't recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a paid day off holiday until 2000. Utah was the last state to declare Martin Luther King, Jr. a holiday, according to Kids Play and Create.

10. He’s all over America
In the United States, more than 1,000 streets are named after Martin Luther King, Jr.

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You may have read books and seen movies about Martin Luther King, Jr., but you might not know these facts about the beloved Baptist preacher and civil rights leader.
martin luther king jr, fun facts, christian pastor
Thursday, 28 May 2015 01:18 PM
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