Monday, January 16, 2017

A Quiz for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dear George,
We probably know more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. than any other historically important African American figure, at least part because of the national recognition of his birth and legacy each January.  Below is a quiz for the occasion.  Some of the items involve well-known facts; others are more obscure.  I personally think a score of 25 out of 30 would be very good and 20 is good.  Had I not compiled this, I think I would have scored about 17 or 18 — more middling.  The answers are given at the end.

1.  Martin Luther King Jr. (hereafter, MLK) was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in: 
(a) Atlanta, GA; (b) Detroit, MI; (c) Birmingham, AL; (d) Clearwater, TX

2.  MLK’s name at birth was: 
(a) Mark; (b) Matthew; (c) Michael; (d) Mitchell

3.  In his family MLK was:
(a) the youngest of six children
(b) the oldest of four children
(c) the middle child of three children
(c) an only child

4.  According to MLK, his father regularly whipped him during childhood and his early teens.
(a) True; (b) False

5.  12-year-old MLK allegedly attempted suicide by jumping out of a second-story window when his grandmother died of a heart attack.
(a) True; (b) False

6.  MLK began college at the age of:
(a) 15; (b) 17; (c) 19; (d) 21

7.  MLK received a Sociology degree from:
(a) Georgia Tech; (b) Howard University; (c) Morehouse College; (d) University of Alabama

8.  Though he had not intended to join the ministry, he changed his mind under the guidance of:
(a) his grandfather
(b) his older brother
(c) the pastor of the church he attended
(d) the president of the college he attended

9.  MLK’s wife, Coretta Scott, was a graduate of:
(a) Alabama State; (b) Antioch College; (c) Howard University; (d) Oberlin College

10.  MLK discouraged Coretta’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, expecting her to be a housewife and mother.
(a) True; (b) False

11. The Kings had ___ children:
(a) two; (b) three; (c) four; (d) seven

12. MLK was a _____ minister:
(a) Baptist; (b) Church of Christ; (c) Lutheran; (d) Presbyterian

13.  In 1955 MLK received his doctorate degree from:
(a) Appalachian State U.; (b) Boston U.; (c) Harvard; (d) University of Mississippi;

14.  After Rosa Parks was arrested, MLK was elected to head the bus boycott in:
(a) Atlanta, GA; (b) Birmingham, AL; (c) Montgomery, AL; (d) Selma, AL

15.  The bus boycott lasted for ___ days:
(a) 8; (b) 31; (c) 119; (d) 382

16.  MLK’s principles of nonviolence were inspired by:
(a) Buber; (b) Gandhi; (c) Lincoln; (d) Spinoza

17.  In 1963 MLK spelled out his theory of nonviolence in a famous letter from a jail cell in:
(a) Birmingham, AL; (b) Houston, TX; (c) Detroit, MI; (d) Savannah, GA

18.  MLK was president of the:
(a) National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(b) National Urban League
(c) Southern Christian Leadership Conference
(d) Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

19.  MLK’s close associates included all but which one of the following:
(a) Ralph Abernathy; (b) Stokely Carmichael; (c) Bayard Rustin; (d) Fred Shuttlesworth

20.  Between 1957 and 1968 MLK gave over ____ speeches and was arrested over ___ times. 
(a) 900/a dozen; (b) 1200/35; (c) 1900/6; (d) 2500/20

21.  In 1958 King nearly died when he was stabbed by a mentally ill woman in a Harlem department store.
(a) True; (b) False

22.  When MLK was sentenced to 45 days in jail in Albany, GA, his bail was paid by: 
(a) Spiro Agnew; (b) Billy Graham; (c) J. Edgar Hoover; (d) Jackie Kennedy

23.  MLK gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963, in:
(a) Charleston, SC; (b) Nashville, TN;  (c) New York, NY; (d) Washington, DC

24.  In 1963 Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy authorized the FBI to begin wiretapping MLK and other SCLC leaders.
(a) True; (b) False

25.  After multiple successes in the south, MLK and associates extended the movement to the urban North, first launching the open housing movement in 1966 in:
(a) Chicago; (b) Detroit; (c) Milwaukee; (d) Pittsburgh

26.  In the final years of his life MLK broadened his focus to include:
(a) criminal justice reform
(b) environmental issues
(c) health and infant mortality
(d) poverty and the Vietnam War

27.  MLK was assassinated at a motel in Memphis in April of:
(a) 1964; (b) 1968; (c) 1972; (d) 1976 

28.  MLK’s honors and awards include:
(a) the Congressional Medal of Honor
(b) the Nobel Peace Prize
(c) the Presidential Medal of Freedom
(d) all of these

29.  The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site is located in:
(a) Atlanta; (b) New York; (c) Philadelphia; (d) Washington, DC

30.  Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been a U.S. federal holiday since: 
(a) 1976; (b) 1981; (c) 1986; (d) 1991

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

1.a.  Born in Atlanta.
2.c.  Name at birth: Michael.
3.c.  Middle child of 3.
4.a.  True; reported regular whippings.
5.a.  True; attempted suicide at 12. 
6.a.  Began college at 15. 
7.c.  Morehouse College
8.d.  College president encouraged ministry. 
9.b.  Coretta Scott King, Antioch College. 
10.a.  Discouraged civil rights involvement.
11.c.  Four children. 
12.a.  Baptist minister. 
13.b.  Doctorate from Boston U.
14.c.  Montgomery bus boycott.
15.d.  382 days. 
16.b.  Nonviolence, Gandhi. 
17.a.  Birmingham jail cell. 
18.c.  President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 
19.b.  Not Stokely Carmichael. 
20.d.  Over 2500 speeches; arrested over 20 times. 
21.a.  True; nearly died from Harlem stabbing. 
22.b.  Bail paid by Billy Graham. 
23.d.  “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC. 
24.a.  True; R.F. Kennedy authorized wiretapping. 
25.a.  Expanded movement first to Chicago. 
26.d.  Expanded movement focus to poverty and the Vietnam War. 
27.b.  Assassinated in 1968.  
28.d.  Honors include all of these.  
29.a.  Historical Site in Atlanta. 
30.c.  U.S. federal holiday since 1986

SOURCES:, “Martin Luther King Jr.”;, “Martin Luther King Jr.”;, “Martin Luther King Jr. - Biography”;, “Martin Luther King Jr.”

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