January 30th, 1956

Dr. Martin Luther King's House Bombed

On the evening of January 10, 1956, one month after the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott, the Montgomery, Alabama, home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was bombed while his wife Coretta, seven-week-old daughter Yolanda, and a neighbor were inside. No one was injured but the front of the house was damaged.

Dr. King was speaking at a large meeting when he learned about the bombing. He rushed home to find some 300 African Americans gathered outside, some carrying weapons and preparing to take action in his defense. The crowd cheered Dr. King's arrival. The mayor and police commissioner urged the crowd to remain calm and promised the bombing would be fully investigated.

Dr. King confirmed his family was safe and then addressed the anxious and angry crowd, many of whom were members of his church, advocating for nonviolence. "If you have weapons," he told them, " take them home; if you do not have them, please do not seek them. We cannot solve this problem through violence. We must meet violence with nonviolence." The crowd dispersed peacefully after Dr. King assured them, "Go home and don't worry. We are not hurt, and remember, if anything happens to me there will be others to take my place."