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Today, 19 January 2015

marks the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

 

Today, across the United States

the preeminent American civil rights leader

of non-violence means for  social change-

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

is honoured for giving his life breath to the cause

of equal rights and equal recognition.

 

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

28 August 1963,

Dr. King delivered his stirring I Have a Dream speech.

(image from mirror.co.uk):

I have a Dream speech, crowd, image

I Have a Dream

 28 August 1963

Over a quarter of a million people were in attendance

 

The speech was the climactic point of

the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The March on Washington was organised to support then U. S. President

John F. Kennedy’s efforts for Congressional passage of civil rights legislation.

The I Have a Dream speech

is lauded as one of the greatest works of oratory delivered in the 20th century:

emotive rhetoric, poignant phraseology, a rallying cry.

(image from pbs.org):

I have a dream speech, MLK at podium

I Have a Dream

Dr. King at the podium

Dr. King’s pacifist beliefs, eloquence, poise and steadfast calm

in the face of growing danger towards his physical person-

gained him world-wide attention and admiration.

In 1964, he became the youngest recipient of the Noble Peace Prize.

(image from abcnews. org):

I have a dream speech, MLK acknowledges the crowd

I Have a Dream

Dr. King acknowledges the crowd

The sentiment of the I Have a Dream speech is a plea for the basic tenets

of a just existence for all.

(excerpt of the I Have a Dream speech)

“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.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

(from infoplease)

 

 

 

When he had concluded, Dr. King handed the original typewritten speech

to George Raveling, then a Villanova University student and all-American

basketball player.

 

Mr. Raveling, now 77 years old, still has the three page speech.

 

I Have A Dream

Delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

28 August 1963