Publish Date: Jan. 3, 1964
Cover Story: America’s Gandhi: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
How TIME Covered the News: Only a few months after the Civil Rights leader held his iconic March on Washington, attracting his biggest crowds ever and turning the nation’s consciousness toward civil rights equality for all, Marin Luther King Jr. was named TIME’s Man of the Year.
“King preaches endlessly about nonviolence, but his protest movements often lead to violence. He himself has been stabbed in the chest, and physically attacked three more times; his home has been bombed three times, and he has been pitched into jail 14 times. His mail brings him a daily dosage of opinion in which he is by turn vilified and glorified. One letter says: ‘This isn’t a threat but a promise—your head will be blown off as sure as Christ made green apples.’ But another ecstatically calls him a ‘Moses, sent to lead his people to the Promised Land of first-class citizenship.’”