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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.

Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 to February 21, 1965)
Marshall, Burke (October 1, 1922 to June 2, 2003)
Marshall, Thurgood (July 2, 1908 to January 24, 1993)
Maynard, Aubré de Lambert (November 17, 1901 to March 20, 1999)
Mays, Benjamin Elijah (August 1, 1894 to March 28, 1984)
Mboya, Thomas Joseph (August 15, 1930 to July 5, 1969)
McCall, Walter R. (August 23, 1923 to November 12, 1978)
McDonald, Dora Edith (July 16, 1925 to January 13, 2007)
McKissick, Floyd Bixler (March 9, 1922 to April 28, 1991)
Measure of a Man, The (April 1, 1959 to April 30, 1959)
Meet the Press (June 24, 1945)
Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike (February 12, 1968 to April 16, 1968)
Meredith, James Howard (June 25, 1933)
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) (April 26, 1964 to June 21, 1968)
Montgomery Bus Boycott (December 5, 1955 to December 20, 1956)
Morehouse College (January 1, 1867 to December 31, 1867)
Moses, Robert Parris (January 23, 1935)