Today is more than just a day when schools, banks, and various government offices shut down. Today is a day to honor the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior who was a pastor, crusader, and for a time was the youngest man ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. A man whose name has become synonymous with the civil rights struggle. Here are some other facts about him.

1.  Doctor King enrolled in Morehouse College at the age of 15 and that was it -- he found his calling. Before graduating with a sociology degree, King was ordained a minister. In 1955, King earned a PhD in theology from Boston University.

2.  King became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. At a time when racial segregation was still the law in Southern states, he became involved in local civil rights efforts that became a national movement.

3.  On August 28, 1963, a quarter-million people marched on Washington, D.C. to demand civil rights heard his "I Have a Dream" speech. "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident -- that all men are created equal."

4.  Two decades after King's momentous speech, the third Monday in January was made a federal holiday commemorating his birthday. Since the first observance on January 20, 1986, it has been an occasion for people to remember King's life and re-dedicate themselves to achieving that dream.

5.  In 1964, at age 35, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1968, King went to Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers, most of whom were black.

6.  On April 4, King was assassinated while standing on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel. His death sparked riots across America. The Lorraine has since been converted into a national civil rights museum.

[Via Today I Found Out]