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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.

Eisenhower, Dwight David (October 14, 1890 to March 28, 1969)
Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863)
Evers, Medgar Wiley (July 2, 1925 to June 12, 1963)
Farmer, James (January 12, 1920 to July 9, 1999)
Farris, (Willie) Christine King (September 11, 1927)
Fauntroy, Walter E. (February 6, 1933)
Forman, James (October 4, 1928 to January 10, 2005)
Fosdick, Harry Emerson (May 24, 1878 to October 5, 1969)
Freedom Rides (May 4, 1961 to December 16, 1961)
Freedom Summer (June 14, 1964 to August 20, 1964)
Gandhi Society for Human Rights (May 17, 1962 to November 29, 1965)
Gandhi, Mohandas K. (October 2, 1869 to January 30, 1948)
Gaston, Arthur George (July 4, 1892 to January 19, 1996)
Ghana Trip (March 4, 1957 to March 12, 1957)
Goldwater, Barry M. (January 1, 1909 to May 29, 1998)
Gomillion, Charles Goode (April 1, 1900 to October 4, 1995)
Graetz, Robert (May 16, 1928 to September 20, 2020)