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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.

Muste, Abraham Johannes (January 8, 1885 to February 11, 1967)
Nash, Diane Judith (May 15, 1938)
National Baptist Convention (NBC) (September 28, 1895)
National Conference on Religion and Race (January 14, 1963 to January 17, 1963)
National Urban League (September 29, 1910)
Negro American Labor Council (NALC) (May 27, 1960 to September 6, 1976)
Nehru, Jawaharlal (November 14, 1889 to May 27, 1964)
Nelson, William Stuart (October 15, 1895 to March 26, 1977)
Nesbitt, Robert D. (November 22, 1908 to April 23, 2002)
New York Amsterdam News (December 4, 1909)
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (February 17, 1960 to March 9, 1964)
Niebuhr, Reinhold (June 21, 1892 to June 1, 1971)
Nixon, Edgar Daniel (July 12, 1899 to February 25, 1987)
Nixon, Richard Milhous (January 9, 1913 to April 22, 1994)
Nkrumah, Kwame (September 21, 1909 to April 27, 1972)