January 30, 1948 – Gandhi Assassinated in New Delhi, India

On this day in history, Mohandas K. Gandhi was killed at the age of 78 by a Hindu nationalist who opposed some of Gandhi’s policies, including his doctrine of nonviolence (his opposition to which the shooter demonstrated rather graphically).

Gandhi, thought to be taken in the late 1930's

Gandhi, thought to be taken in the late 1930’s

Gandhi was a leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Advocating nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He is now commonly known by the honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: “high-souled”, “venerable”), which was first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa.

Gandhi had a wide influence and many followers, including Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1959, MLK wrote an account of a trip he took to India (“My Trip to the Land of Gandhi”) in which he discusses the intersection of Gandhi’s beliefs and his own. You can read the text here.

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