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5 controversies surrounding the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his 'I Have a Dream' speech during the March on Washington in this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most popular historical figures in the history of the United States and is one of the few to get a federal holiday named in his honor.

King was a powerful orator, whose words on civil rights, racial equality and hopes for a better future continue to inspire Americans in the 21st century.

But like many prominent public figures past and present, King has been the subject of various controversies related to claims about his beliefs and behaviors.

Some controversies have been laid to rest, even during his lifetime, But others remain the source of passionate debate among activists and scholars.

The following pages highlight in no particular order five notable controversies surrounding King. 

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