The closest action to that of Henry David Thoreau is that of Martin Luther King, Jr. who spent a night in jail in Birmingham, Alabama, during the U.S. Civil Rights Movement on April 16, 1963. King was sent to jail for participating in a civil rights demonstration; while in the Birmingham City Jail, Dr. King wrote a letter paralleling many of the thoughts of Thoreau, for King was an admirer of his philosophy. In fact, King uses Thoreau's words in his conclusion:
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for the law.
King's letter is in response to eight caucasian Alabama clergymen who agreed that social injustices existed, but felt that the battle should not be fought not in the streets, but in the courts. King argued that without non-violent forceful, direct actions* true civil rights could never be achieved.
*forceful, non-violent, direct actions, advocated first by Thoreau, then by Gandhi were influential to Dr. King's thinking.