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Back in the early 1940s, a pre-teen named Mike decided to sneak out of his house and attend a parade against his parents’ wishes.

Now this was not good.  In addition to disobeying his parents, he was supposed to be home watching his six-year old little brother.

Unfortunately, for Mike and his family, the story takes a tragic turn from here. While the twelve-year old enjoyed the parade, his little brother accidentally knocked their grandmother unconscious while sliding down a bannister.

Sadly, their grandmother would subsequently die from a heart attack largely unrelated to the accident. However, this wouldn’t stop the young Mike from associating his actions with his grandmother’s death.

Guilt-ridden and distraught–and unable to sleep for days–the troubled twelve-year old climbed the stairs of his two-story house and leapt from a bedroom window in an attempted suicide.

Thankfully, Michael made it through the episode without major injury and thankfully, for the rest of us, Michael survived, became a pastor like his father and–also like his father Michael Sr.–decided to adopt the name of a historic religious reformer… Martin.

Yes, the boy born Michael King Jr., became Martin Luther King Jr. and the rest, as they say is, indeed, history.

Only Human: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King  was originally published on

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