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With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. and his father was also born Michael King, but the elder King changed his and his son's names following a 1934 trip to Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin.
King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. It was during this time he chose to be called Martin Luther King in honor of the German reformer Martin Luther. King's mother, an accomplished organist and choir leader, took him to various churches to sing.
There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. He received attention for singing "I Want to Be More and More Like Jesus." King later became a member of the junior choir in his church.
On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. King said his father regularly whipped him until he was fifteen and a neighbor reported hearing the elder King telling his son "he would make something of him even if he had to beat him to death." King saw his father's proud and unafraid protests in relation to segregation, such as Martin, Sr., refusing to listen to a traffic policeman after being referred to as "boy" or stalking out of a store with his son when being told by a shoe clerk that they would have to move to the rear to be served.
He later characterized this incident as "the angriest I have ever been in my life".
It was during King's junior year that Morehouse College announced it would accept any high school juniors who could pass its entrance exam.
Returning home to Atlanta by bus, he and his teacher were ordered by the driver to stand so white passengers could sit down.
Due to this, the school became desperate to fill in classrooms.
King's doctoral degree,' an action that the panel said would serve no purpose." The committee also found that the dissertation still "makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship." However, a letter is now attached to King's dissertation in the university library, noting that numerous passages were included without the appropriate quotations and citations of sources.
As a Christian minister, King's main influence was Jesus Christ and the Christian gospels, which he would almost always quote in his religious meetings, speeches at church, and in public discourses.
King tearfully told a friend that he could not endure his mother's pain over the marriage and broke the relationship off around six months later.
He would continue to have lingering feelings, with one friend being quoted as saying, "He never recovered." King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Ph. degree on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman".