Martin Luther King Jr's birth home escapes arson — Who tried to torch it?

Martin Luther King Jr: A 26-year-old woman faces charges of criminal attempt to commit arson and damage government property

Web Desk
Friday, December 08, 2023
The suspect pours gasoline on the front windows of the historic home(L) and an off-duty NYPD officers jumped on the suspect after she pulled out a lighter and attempted to light it(R).—WSBTV

An Atlanta woman was arrested for attempting to set fire to renowned civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr's birth home.

The 26-year-old woman faces charges of criminal attempt to commit arson and damage government property, with the possibility of additional federal charges.

The suspect has been charged with criminal attempt arson and criminal attempt interference with government property.—WSBTV

The arrest followed an alert from two tourists who witnessed the suspect pouring gasoline on plants, the porch, and the front door of the historic home. Quick intervention by off-duty NYPD officers visiting the city prevented a potential disaster.

Martin Luther King Jr. speaks after meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson to discuss civil rights at the White House in Washington, December 3, 1963. —Reuters

Video footage captures the woman being detained by officers, emphasising the swift response that averted a fire. Atlanta Fire Department's HAZMAT team worked to address the gasoline spill, highlighting the imminent danger posed to the iconic birth home.

The historic home is under renovation until the end of 2025.—WSBTV

The incident occurred just blocks away from significant landmarks like the King Center, King National Historical Park, and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home, a cherished two-story Queen-Anne style structure dating back to 1895, remains a vital part of commemorating the civil rights leader's early life.

Currently undergoing renovation and closed to visitors until 2025, the attempted arson serves as a disturbing reminder of the importance of safeguarding historical landmarks against acts of vandalism and destruction.