January 30, 1956 – Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Home was Bombed

On Thursday, December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white person on the bus she took on her regular ride home from the Montgomery Fair department store. The bus driver called the Montgomery police, who took her to the station and booked, fingerprinted, and incarcerated her. She was charged with violating the Alabama bus segregation laws. Bond was posted for Mrs. Parks, and she went home. By Monday, a bus boycott was organized. The NAACP, Women’s Political Council, Baptist Ministers Conference, and the city’s African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zionist ministers united with the community to help.

Rosa Parks in 1956

Rosa Parks in 1956

After the successful beginning of the boycott on Monday, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) came into being that afternoon, and Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted the presidency. As MIA leader, King became the focus of white hatred. On January 30, 1956, the King home was bombed.

King had been speaking at a mass meeting at the First Baptist Church. When he heard the news, he told the crowd what happened, and left the church.

Nearing his house, King saw blacks brandishing guns and knives, and a barricade of white policemen. King went inside and pushed through the crowd in his house to the back room to make sure Coretta and his ten-week-old baby were okay. Back in the front room of the house, some white reporters were trying to leave to file their stories, but could not get out of the house, which was surrounded by armed, angry blacks.

KIng's house after the bombing

KIng’s house after the bombing

Taylor Branch, in Parting the Waters, tells what happened next:

“King walked out onto the front porch. Holding up his hand for silence, he tried to still the anger by speaking with an exaggerated peacefulness in his voice. Everything was all right, he said. ‘Don’t get panicky. Don’t do anything panicky. Don’t get your weapons. If you have weapons, take them home. He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. Remember that is what Jesus said. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love.’”

When the crowd of several hundred was silent, he continued:

“I did not start this boycott. I was asked by you to serve as your spokesman. I want it to be known the length and breadth of this land that if I am stopped, this movement will not stop. If I am stopped, our work will not stop. For what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just. And God is with us.”

The bombing inspired the MIA to file a federal suit directly attacking the laws establishing bus segregation. In the meanwhile, for thirteen months the 17,000 black people in Montgomery walked to work or obtained lifts from the small car-owning black population of the city. Eventually, the loss of revenue and a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration, and the boycott came to an end on December 20, 1956. 
 The success of the boycott became apparent when King and several allies boarded a public bus in front of King’s home on December 21, 1956.

MLK Riding the Integrated Bus in 1956

MLK Riding the Integrated Bus in 1956


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25 Responses to January 30, 1956 – Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Home was Bombed

  1. amber says:

    me and my friend trinity thinks rosa is cool(2009)
    rip we love you rosa

  2. Hi there,

    I’m from Holland and I’ve just read a lot of things about MLK on the internet and he’s become one of my heroes! His work and his perseverance have greatly inspired to not give up on whatever I do and to fight for equality!
    And remember, it’s not the color of your skin that counts but your character!

    Greets Desley, from The Netherlands (Holland)

  3. Thanks for the comments. I hope someday everyone comes to believe that what counts is character!

  4. Daisy Waits says:

    I wish i could meet him he was a great man and he will always be!!!


  5. demian says:

    mrtin luther king wuzz amazing he held it together and didnt go back in violence it takes a warrior to go and fight but a even bigger one to resolve without hatred and violence.

  6. mr.b says:

    I am doing a Martin Luther King, Jr. essay and after reading this i was amazed and thank him for making all blacks and whites come together. Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • katye says:

      i love martin luther king he is one of my favorite heroes he is amazing in the days when he was alive it was a dream for him for blacks and whotes to come together but today its not a dream its the reality

  7. Mya says:

    RIP MLK and Rosa Parks

  8. Correction: It was not 17,000 blacks in Montgomery – it was approximately 50,000 – during the bus boycott –

  9. M.b says:

    MLK was a great man my grandpa met him once and told me the story of how kind he was with people and i hope racisdm will never come agfain.

  10. mary says:

    i went in my room and cryed and thanked for freedom also if he was never born i do not know what i would do

  11. Carl says:

    Martin Luther King is a Legend, he fought for equal rights and done without violence or hatred for whites, he’s just like Mahatma Gahndhi (Indian Man who fought of the British soldiers from India with no violence).He rules.Now lets hope for somebody to stop poverty.We all can make a difference.

  12. Cantrell says:

    He was a great man & i highly doubt racism will come gain BUT discrimination still exists in different forms some people are not aware of.

  13. qj says:

    he was a great man im only a child and i cried cause he fighted 4 us

  14. Kailly says:

    I think that Martin L. King was amazing and he changed the lives of many people if he was still here I would travel all the way to where he was to thank him.

  15. Kailly says:

    I would tots hurt Earl Ray or whatever the dude who killed MLKs name was but I know that MLK would not be proud of that and I am so glad MLK was here to save everyone any one who doubted him deserves to be ashamed

  16. kayuna wilson says:

    i think MLK made a change in the world because we were not treated like the white people we were beated and MLK help change that

  17. Jasmine says:

    RIP Martin Luther King
    He was a Hero

  18. Luvo says:

    I’m inspired by this great hero…South Africa loves him so much

  19. xXCookieXx03 says:

    Martin Luther King is one of my hero’s, he stood up for what was right and never gave up. I am doing a essay on him and I was so sad to hear that he died.

  20. On MLK’s last day, he was in a motel. Back in 1968 it was said he came out on the balcony to smoke a cigarette. Also someone stated there was a women in the room where MLK stayed. Always wondered if this was true or not. How would I find out?

  21. Ainsley says:

    i’m working on a school project on Coretta Scott King and your page on this is very clear and none of it is confusing all of it is very clear and in good detail, so thank you for not making it confusing.

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