Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist. He was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.