The country on Monday will celebrate the national holiday marking the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The U.S. Census offers some cool facts that will help people better understand the effect the civil rights leader had before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. King would have been 87 years old.
Census data show that in 1964 before the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 69.3 percent of all eligible American adults voted compared with 58.5 percent of eligible African Americans. (We were colored and Negroes then.)
In 2012, 56.5 percent of all eligible American adults voted compared with 62 percent of African Americans. President Barack Obama was running for re-election that year, and black people turned out in great numbers to vote for him just as they did in 2008.
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Only 25.7 percent of African Americans in 1964 completed high school, but by 2013 that grew to 85.1 percent.
In 1964 there were 306,000 African American college students. That grew to 2.9 million in 2013.
King and others in the Civil Rights Movement made a difference. The goal is to keep the progress going.