50 Years Later: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”
On August 28, 1963, over 200,000 people marched to Washington, D.C. to participate in a peaceful civil rights rally known as the March on Washington. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech to the crowd. His 17-minute long speech would become a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Regarded as one of the finest speeches in American history, Martin Luther King, Jr. evoked his message of racial equality and freedom by effortlessly weaving biblical allusions with the words of the country’s defining doctrines – the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation.
Did you know that the refrain “I have a dream” was not part of his original speech? King had previously used the phrase at a prior rally and was advised to omit it at Washington. However, as he addressed the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial, Mahalia Jackson, a gospel singer near the podium, shouted “Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin.” King promptly stopped his speech and began preaching his dream.
Watch his iconic speech below:
Do you remember the day Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his speech? Share your stories with us in the comments below!