On August 5, 1966, he joined marchers protesting against housing segregation in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reported that the "mood was ominous" and onlookers threw rocks, bottles and firecrackers at the crowd; King was hit by a stone. But in the end, there were results:
The marches led to an accord that year between the protesters and the Chicago Real Estate Board. The board agreed to end its opposition to open-housing laws in exchange for an end to the demonstrations. Before he left town, King said it was "a first step in a 1,000-mile journey."
The federal Fair Housing Act was part of civil-rights legislation passed seven days after King was assassinated. The act, which covers most housing, makes it illegal to refuse to rent or sell to someone based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status -- whether you have children -- or disabilities. Setting different terms or conditions is also not allowed. The act covers mortgage lending, too.
In 2008, the 40th anniversary of the act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it had received more than 10,000 housing discrimination complaints the previous year. Race was the second-most cited reason. The first? Disabilities.