Only three people have a US national holiday observed in their honor: Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January each year (near his Jan. 15 birthday) to honor his legacy in battling for civil rights. The following infographic highlights the timeline of the life of Martin Luther King Jr., interesting/lesser known facts about this civil rights leader.

MLK Jr’s Glory – Interesting Facts

  • He was born as Michael King, but his father changed his name to Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther
  • Became the Youngest Man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize and donated his $54,123 prize money to the civil rights movement
  • Became the first African American to be honored as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year
  • More than 900 U.S. cities in 40 states have streets named after King
  • Gallup’s List of People that Americans Most Widely Admired in the 20th Century places MLK, Jr. on 2nd only to Mother Teresa.
  • On January 20, 1986 was the first national celebration of King’s birthday as a holiday as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Traveled 6 million miles during the course of his activism
  • Delivered 2,500 speeches
  • Arrested more than 20 times for social causes.