Reaction to the news that American forces had found and killed Osama bin Laden ran the gamut from ebullient celebration to somber reflection. But the one thing that appeared to unite Americans of all walks of life was a sentiment of peace inadvertently attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. and posted as a Facebook status by millions. That got us thinking: What else did Martin Luther King, Jr. not say? We spent literally hours scouring libraries, archives and website to compile the top ten things Martin Luther King, Jr. never said.

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May 04, 2011

"How about instead of a bus boycott we just go around Montgomery and beat up white people?"

Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the leaders of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest campaign that started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA, intended to oppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system. Also, he was totally not into beating people up.

"I think marching from Selma to Montgomery is a bad idea. Maybe we should write a sternly worded letter to the editor instead?"

The Selma to Montgomery marches were three marches in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. They grew out of the voting rights movement in Selma, Alabama. The organizers of the march requested the assistance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who brought many prominent civil rights and civic leaders to support voting rights NOT sternly worded letters.

"Deep down George Wallace is a good man. "

George Wallace was governor of Alabama best known for his pro-segregation attitudes during the American desegregation period. Dude loved segregation so much he once, famously said:

“In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

Not a good man.

"You know what, I am going to skip the dream speech. Think I'll pull out the old blackboard and diagram the link between racism and fascism, instead. Glenn Beck-style!"

Martin Luther King, Jr. did not skip the "I Have a Dream" speech, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. No chalk boards were involved.

"The March on Washington was bananas. I say next year we March on Miami! YEAAAAHHHH!"

While the March on Washington was indeed “bananas,” there is no indication that plans were ever seriously discussed for a similar event in Miami, Florida.

Sure the Nobel Peace Prize is nice, but it doesn't get me any closer to the EGOT.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was never a stage, screen or television actor, so it is unlikely that he ever aspired to achieve the “EGOT” - Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, and Tony.

"No, I don't want a McRib."

McDonald’s first introduced in 1981, nearly fifteen years after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray.

"Hey guys, Strom Thurmond and I are hanging out tonight. Two words: Keg. Stands."

Strom Thurmond was a U.S. Senator from South Carolina who supported racial segregation with the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single senator, speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes in an unsuccessful attempt to derail the Civil Rights Act of 1957. It is highly unlikely Martin Luther King, Jr. ever “hung out” with Mr. Thurmond.

"I have a dream that one day, after a decade-long search, we will find and kill a terrorist who was the mastermind of a horrific attack against our nation and afterwards we'll all gather together on something called the internet and share with each other words of peace that were improperly attributed to me."

This passage does not appear in any version of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy."

By all accounts, Jessica Dovey, a 24-year old Penn State graduate who now teaches English to middle schoolers in Kobe, Japan, posted a very timely and moving thought on her Facebook status and then followed it up with an actual quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Her words were conflated with the quote resulting in millions of people inadvertently attributing them to MLK. (