MapMaker: Martin Luther King Jr. Roadways

MapMaker: Martin Luther King Jr. Roadways

Explore streets named after civil rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr.


5 - 12+


Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Human Geography, Social Studies, Civics, U.S. History

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Martin Luther King, Jr., born Michael King, Jr., in 1929, was a civil rights activist and Baptist minister who was one of the most influential leaders of the United States civil rights movement in the mid-1950s until his assassination on April 4, 1968. King spoke and advocated for many issues although he is most famous for protesting racial segregation. He led or participated in many efforts, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington where he gave his iconic I Have a Dream speech. Many people credit him with ending the practice in the American South as his work influenced public opinion that pressured Congress into passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

King’s work changed the United States for the better, and many municipalities have honored him by naming places after him. This map layer highlights some of the roadways bearing his name in the U.S. Although only roads in the U.S. are included in this map layer others can be found worldwide. Can you find any?

Note: We set the search query for roadways bearing King’s name as broad as we could, however, we may have missed a few. If you find that is the case, just let us know using the feedback feature in the menu bar.

Use this Map Layer in the Classroom In this activity, students use MapMaker to uncover the geographic and social context of streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr.

Media Credits

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Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
GIS Specialist
Zoë Lieb, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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