This is easily the most historically significant arrest on the list and one of the most iconic mugshot images in U.S. history. King was arrested in 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama while taking part in the famous Rosa Parks inspired bus boycotts protesting bus segregation.
Later while jailed for another march in Alabama, he wrote the famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” The eloquent call for “constructive, nonviolent tension” became a defining document for the civil rights movement. The letter was smuggled out of jail and printed by many major publications and inspired millions of Americans.
King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combatting racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. At the age of thirty-five, he was the youngest man ever to receive the prize.