Dr. Martin Luther King’s childhood home now belongs to the US government. CBS 46 reports that the home, located on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn community in Atlanta, was reportedly purchased for $1.9 million, according to the news outlet’s sources. The King Center did offer an official comment on the price the federal government paid for the property.
As The National Park Service notes, the home is a two-story Queen Anne style house with a front and side porch. Martin Luther King was born in a room on the second story and lived there until 1941 when he was 12 years old. The Ebenezer Baptist Church, the place where the civil rights leader honed his legendary oratory skills is located on the corner of the same street.
Fox News reports that in early 2018, President Trump signed the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act of 2017 which officially added Dr. King’s childhood home to the national list of historic parks. It also established the one-time meeting place of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference as a national historic site as well.
“Through his life and work, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made America more just and free,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said to the press when the legislation was signed.”This important historical park tells his story, and this bill will help ensure that the park continues to tell Dr. King’s story for generations to come.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is one of the most celebrated civil rights leaders in American history. With his rousing speeches and nonviolent stance, Dr. King’s leadership and influence helped to shape the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Civil Rights Act ceased legal discrimination in public spaces and employment on the basis of race, religion, and sex, History notes. The Voting Rights Act bans discrimination in the voting and electoral process.
As Biography reports, Dr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Despite this and his other achievements, he lived under FBI surveillance for a significant portion of his career, Newsweek notes. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was reportedly looking for evidence that King was involved in the Communist party. No proof was ever found to support that claim, according to historian and author, David Garrow, in 2008 interview with CNN.
“King really and truly believed that he was there to be of service to others,” Garrow said. “This was not a man with any egomaniacal joy of being a famous person, or being a leader.”
Dr. Martin Luther was assassinated in 1968. He was 39 years old.