Tomorrow on January 18, 2016, we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The library will remain open to the public on the holiday.

If you are curious about King or his history, the following is a sample collection of resources available to our users.

Brief Biography

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (1929-1968), an African American Baptist minister, was the main leader of the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950's and 1960's. He had a magnificent speaking ability, which enabled him to effectively express the demands of African Americans for social justice. King's eloquent pleas won the support of millions of people—blacks and whites—and made him internationally famous. He won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for leading nonviolent civil rights demonstrations.

In spite of King's stress on nonviolence, he often became the target of violence. White racists bombed his home in Montgomery, Alabama, and threw rocks at him in Chicago. Finally, violence ended King's life at the age of 39, when an assassin shot and killed him.

Some historians view King's death as the end of the civil rights era that began in the mid-1950's. Under his leadership, the civil rights movement won wide support among whites, and laws that had barred integration in the Southern States were abolished. King became only the second American whose birthday is observed as a national holiday. The first was George Washington, the nation's first president.

King based his program of nonviolence on Christian teachings. He wrote five books: Stride Toward Freedom (1958), Strength to Love (1963), Why We Can't Wait (1964), Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967), and The Trumpet of Conscience (1968).

Source: Garrow, David J. "King, Martin Luther, Jr." World Book Online InfoFinder. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Jan. 2016.

Library Catalog

For items written by King as an author or about King as a subject, you can search the box above or you can click the link to a Martin Luther King keyword search. This search will give you both physical items such as books and DVDs, but it will also include some items that are in our digital collections.

Other Resources

Note: The resources below require logins for use.

  • Access Video: Martin Luther King, Jr: videos and video segments [login with library card]
  • Freegal Music: Artist: Martin Luther King, Jr: sound recordings [login with library card and personal password]