Martin Luther King Jr. Was Arrested 29 Times For His Civil Rights Work (Read Why)

You might realize Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968; you would possibly even realize his mother Alberta King’s murder on June 30, 1974. Perhaps you furthermore may recognize King’s brother A. D. King’s drowning on July 21, 1969.


Are you, however, aware that the civil rights leader visited jail 29 times often detained in various cities within the south?
According to the King Center, he was arrested for acts of direct action and on trumped-up charges, like when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour during a 25-mile-per-hour zone.


January 26, 1956 — He was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, as a part of a “Get Tough” campaign to intimidate the bus boycotters. Four days later, on January 30, his home was bombed.


March 22, 1956 — King, Parks, and quite 100 others were arrested on charges of organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott in protest of Parks’ treatment.

September 3, 1958 — While attempting to attend the arraignment of a person accused of assaulting Abernathy, King is arrested outside Montgomery’s Recorder’s Court and charged with loitering. He’s released a brief time afterward $100 bond.


September 5, 1958 — King was convicted of disobeying a police order and fined $14. He chose to spend 14 days in jail but was soon released when commissioner Clyde Sellers paid his fine.


October 19, 1960 — He was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, during a sit-in while waiting to be served at a restaurant. He was sentenced to four months in jail, but after intervention by then-presidential candidate John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, he was released.


May 4, 1961 — He was arrested in Albany, Georgia, for obstructing the sidewalk and parading without a permit.


July 27, 1962 — He was arrested again and jailed for holding a prayer vigil in Albany, Georgia.


April 12, 1963 — He and Ralph Abernathy were arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, for demonstrating without a permit. During his time in jail, he wrote what is now referred to as his historic “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”


June 11, 1964 — He was arrested for protesting for the mixing of public accommodations in St. Augustine, Florida.


February 2, 1965 — He was arrested in Selma, Alabama, during a voting rights demonstration. Still, the protests continued resulting in demonstrators being beaten at the Pettus Bridge by expressway patrolmen and sheriff’s deputies.

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