As the nation honors the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. today, we housesellers have dug up some interesting facts about the civil rights icon you may not know. We'll start with his name, which many people likely assume he was given at birth in honor of the famed German historical figure and founder of the Lutheran religion, Martin Luther. His actual birth name was Michael King, Jr. but his father, Pastor Michael King, Sr. traveled to Germany when Michael Jr. was 5 years old and became so inspired by the life and accomplishments of the history-changing Luther that he changed both his and his son's name when he returned to his Atlanta home.

While Dr. King is famed for his brilliant oratory skills and genius as a leader and organizer, he was also brilliant academically. In Fact, King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling at age 15 in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. He was ordained a Baptist minister before graduating college with a degree in sociology, earned a divinity degree from Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary (where he was both the class president and the class valedictorian), and attended graduate school at Boston University, where he received his Ph.D in 1955, and he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In one of the great ironies of all time, however, the man who is known as one of history's most powerful speakers received a "C" in a public speaking course from one of his professors in Seminary school!

King has garnered some rare honors, both in his life and death. When he was 35, he became (at the time) the youngest person--and just the second American--to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. George Washington is the only other American to have had his birthday observed as a national holiday (MLK's is celebrated on the third Monday in January to ensure that it is held on his January 15 birthday in certain years as it was last year). He was Time Magazine's Man of the Year for 1963, and in 1977, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to King by Jimmy Carter. He is reportedly 4th on the list of Americans with public schools named for them, after George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy. And, of course, there are the untold number of parks, streets & highways and community centers that bear his name.