We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably did not know about Martin Luther King Jr., and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating facts about the historic and iconic public figure that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!
Number Eight: He Was a Trekkie. King was a big fan of Star Trek. In fact, he was such a big fan that he successfully convinced Nichelle Nichols – the woman who played the character of Uhura – to remain on the show when she was considering leaving it after the first season.
Number Seven: He Improvised His Most Iconic Speech. Well, sort of. King reportedly improvised the last section of the renowned “I have a dream” speech. Clearly, the man had talent when it came to public speaking.
Number Six: His Heart Was Old. Though King died at the young age of 39 years old, during his autopsy, it was revealed that his heart was that of a 60-year-old man. Apparently, the stress that he went through as a public figure and civil servant aged him more than most people realize.
Number Five: His Mother Was Assassinated. Though it’s not a great honor to share with a family member, King has a cause of death in common with his mother. Both King and his mother were assassinated – his mother was shot in 1974 at her church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Number Four: He Holds a Special Holiday Honor. In fact, King is the only United States citizen to have his own national holiday without ever holding a political office.
Number Three: He Is Celebrated in Other Countries. King’s name is so renowned and recognizable that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in other countries! Citizens of Toronto, Canada and Hiroshima, Japan celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day along with citizens of the United States.
Number Two: He Was Time Magazine’s First African American Man of the Year. In 1963, King became the very first African-American man to grace the cover of Time magazine as “Man of the Year.” Since then, only one other African-American man has made it to the cover of Time as “Man of the Year” – Barack Obama.
Number One: He Was Arrested 29 Times. Throughout the 39 years King was alive, he was arrested 29 times. King remains today one of the greatest symbols of what dedication and hope can do for a community and for a nation.