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Welcome to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Encyclopedia!

The Encyclopedia, based on the extensive historical research originally conducted for The Papers,has over 280 articles on civil rights movement figures, events, and organizations. It also offers a detailed day-to-day chronology of King's life, drawn from the volumes.

Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike

The night before his assassination in April 1968, Martin Luther King told a group of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee: “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through” (King, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” 217).

Coretta Scott King places flowers at King's grave. Photo by Bob Fitch, courtesy of the Bob Fitch Photography Archive, © Stanford University Libraries.

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

At 6:05 P.M. on Thursday, 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King was shot dead. During King’s funeral a tape recording was played in which King spoke of how he wanted to be remembered after his death: “I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others” (King, “Drum Major Instinct,” 85).

"Drum Major Instinct"

On 4 February 1968, King, preached “The Drum Major Instinct” from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Excerpts were played at King’s nationally televised funeral service, held at Ebenezer on 9 April 1968.

King Encyclopedia

King Encyclopedia

Search the entries of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Encyclopedia, updated for digital publication.

View the day-to-day chronology of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nobel Peace Prize (December 10, 1964)
O'Dell, Hunter Pitts "Jack" (August 11, 1923 to October 31, 2019)
Operation Breadbasket (October 23, 1962)
Parks, Rosa (February 4, 1913 to October 24, 2005)
Patterson, John Malcolm (September 27, 1921 to June 4, 2021)
Peck, James (December 19, 1914 to July 12, 1993)
Poor People's Campaign (May 12, 1968 to June 24, 1968)
Popper, Hermine Rich Isaacs (August 16, 1915 to November 18, 1968)
Porter, John Thomas (April 4, 1931 to February 15, 2006)
Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr. (November 29, 1908 to April 4, 1972)
Powell, Mary Louise Stamper (September 7, 1918 to September 11, 1991)
Pritchett, Laurie (December 9, 1926 to November 13, 2000)
Proctor, Hilda Stewart (April 5, 1905 to June 21, 1984)
Quill, Michael Joseph (September 18, 1905 to January 28, 1966)
Raby, Albert (February 20, 1933 to November 23, 1988)
Ramachandran, G. (October 8, 1904 to January 17, 1995)