Free «Compare and Contrast

Two public figures that can be compared are Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. The two public figures have varied hidden connections between them. The two are connected together in history as both of them were assassinated as they addressed the topic of racism in the United States of America. The two are known for their immense oratory skills. In addition, their speeches have been ranked among the best in the world. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King and the Kennedys have shaped the American progressive movement. They are pantheon of heroes for liberals and many people around the world draw inspiration from what they did in America (Russell, 2007). The lives and work of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln gives some comparisons and contrasts between them as two prominent public figures.

The similarities between Lincoln and Luther are governed by their fight for people’s rights. Martin Luther King is famously known for the “I Have a Dream” speech that he made before the Lincoln memorial. This was part of the “March on Washington” demonstration that was organized by the principal Civil Rights organizations that took place in Washington D.C on August 28, 1963 (Colletti, 1992). Luther alluded to Lincolns Gettysburg Address in his speech by talking about the events that happened five years ago. The speech was delivered four months before the 100 years anniversary of the Lincolns Gettysburg Address. This was also five days before the 103rd anniversary of the Robert Lee’s surrender as Appottamox.  The speech was just four months short in coinciding with both the Gettysburg address and Robert Lee’s surrender at Appottamox (Whimpey, 2010).

Both King and Lincoln died in the month of April. This is the fourth month of the year before the Easter. King was killed on April 14, 1968, ten days or about two weeks before the Easter holidays. On the other hand, Lincoln passed away on Good Friday just prior to the Easter holiday. Lincoln was shot by Booth on April 14, 1865, and he died on April 15, 1865 from the complications that resulted from the gun shots.

The two public figures have further connections in terms of their families and life. Both Lincoln and Dr. King are both the second born in their families. The two of them have one sister and two brothers each. The two public figures had four children each, but, two of Lincoln’s children died before they became teenagers. In addition, April fourth has a significant meaning for the lives of both Dr. King and Lincoln. On April 4, 1968, MLK was assassinated. Thomas “Tad” Lincoln who was the fourth son of Lincoln was born in April 4, 1853.  The suspected killers of both Abraham Lincoln and MLK also died in the month of April. In addition, James Earl Ray was born on March 10, 1928 and died on April 23, 1998. On the other hand, John Wilkes Booth lived from May 10, 1838 to April 26, 1865 (Sean, 2008).


MLK was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39 years while Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865 (James, 2001). The suspected assassins of Abraham Lincoln and MLK are suspected to have some connections orders from other people to kill the public figures.  James Earl Ray who killed King is viewed to have been under instruction from a third party. The family believes the assassination was a conspiracy that involved even the government. On his part, Booth is suspected to have been killed as he was being pursued by the Union soldiers. Other quarters believe that Booth was not killed and escaped. Lincoln was a United States Congressman in Illinois from March 4, 1847 to March 3, 1849 when James Earl Ray was born.


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