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He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president.With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama.During his junior year, he won first prize in an oratorical contest sponsored by the Negro Elks Club in Dublin, Georgia.Returning home to Atlanta by bus, he and his teacher were ordered by the driver to stand so that white passengers could sit down.In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. He received attention for singing "I Want to Be More and More Like Jesus." King later became a member of the junior choir in his church.In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam". Ray, who fled the country, was arrested two months later at London Heathrow Airport. King said that his father regularly whipped him until he was fifteen; a neighbor reported hearing the elder King telling his son "he would make something of him even if he had to beat him to death." King saw his father's proud and fearless protests against segregation, such as King Sr.King was on the committee from the Birmingham African-American community that looked into the case; because Colvin was pregnant and unmarried, E. Nixon and Clifford Durr decided to wait for a better case to pursue.

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther. His mother was an accomplished organist and choir leader, and she took him to various churches to sing.The group was created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct nonviolent protests in the service of civil rights reform. Vivian, Andrew Young, The Freedom Singers, Charles Evers, Cleveland Robinson, Randolph Blackwell, Annie Bell Robinson Devine, Charles Kenzie Steele, Alfred Daniel Williams King, Benjamin Hooks, Aaron Henry and Bayard Rustin.One of the group's inspirations was the crusades of evangelist Billy Graham, who befriended King after he attended a Graham crusade in New York City in 1957. King narrowly escaped death when Izola Curry, a mentally ill black woman who believed he was conspiring against her with communists, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener."Martin Luther King", "MLK", "Reverend King", and "Luther King" redirect here.For the Nigerian preacher, see Reverend King (Nigerian pastor).