A Dedication Or An Opening
The NAACP was founded in Springfield, Ill., Feb. 12, 1909, the centennial of Abraham Lincolns birth. Yet, at the opening of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington May 30, 1922, security guards tried to Jim Crow black guests into a separate section from whites, despite the presence of a black orator onstage, the president of Tuskegee Institute, Robert Russa Moton, who, in addition to serving on numerous national boards, published an annual list of blacks lynched in the United States.
The title of Motons speech, The Negros Debt to Lincoln, might have been the other way around , but Moton agreed to tone down his remarks to placate the Memorial Commission, as Adam Fairclough writes in his article Civil Rights and the Lincoln Memorial. Even then, Moton managed to slip in his view of Lincolns ambivalence about emancipation: The claim of greatness for Abraham Lincoln lies in this, that amid doubt and distrust, against the counsel of chosen advisers, in the hour of the nations utter peril, he put his trust in God and spoke the word that gave freedom to a race.
For this reason, at least one black newspaper, the Chicago Defender, on June 10, 1922, refused to accept that the Lincoln Memorial had been dedicated in 1922. With song, prayer, bold and truthful speech, its editor prophetically declared, later on let us dedicate that temple thus far only opened.
When Did Mlk Give His Speech
When was the Free at Last speech?
Where did Martin Luther King give his Beyond Vietnam speech?
On 4 April 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his seminal speech at Riverside Church condemning the Vietnam War.
What was Martin Luther King last words before he died?
According to biographer Taylor Branch, Kings last words were to musician Ben Branch, who was scheduled to perform that night at a planned event. King said, Ben, make sure you play Take My Hand, Precious Lord in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.
The March Almost Didnt Include Any Female Speakers Either
It was only after pressure from Anna Arnold Hedgeman, the only woman on the national planning committee, that a Tribute to Negro Women Fighters for Freedom was added to the official program.
It took further convincing to have a woman lead it.
Daisy Bates spoke in the place of Myrlie Evers, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Bates, president of the Arkansas NAACP who played a key role in integrating schools in Little Rock, told the crowd: We will walk until we are free, until we can walk to any school and take our children to any school in the United States. And we will sit-on and we will kneel-in and we will lie-in if necessary until every Negro in America can vote. This we pledge to the women of America.
Earlier, Josephine Baker, an internationally known American entertainer who had moved to France to find fame, addressed the crowd. Dressed in a military jacket draped with medals for her contribution to French resistance in World War II, she spoke in very personal terms about freedom:
You know I have always taken the rocky path. I never took the easy one, but as I get older, and as I knew I had the power and the strength, I took that rocky path, and I tried to smooth it out a little. I wanted to make it easier for you. I want you to have a chance at what I had. But I do not want you to have to run away to get it.
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‘i Have A Dream’ Speech Legacy
Remembered for its powerful imagery and its repetition of a simple and memorable phrase, Kings I Have a Dream speech has endured as a signature moment of the civil rights struggle, and a crowning achievement of one of the movements most famous faces.
The Library of Congress added the speech to the National Recording Registry in 2002, and the following year the National Park Service dedicated an inscribed marble slab to mark the spot where King stood that day.
In 2016, Time included the speech as one of its 10 greatest orations in history.
A March 20 Years In The Making
In 1941, A. Phillip Randolph first conceptualized a “march for jobs” in protest of the racial discrimination against African Americans from jobs created by WWII and the New Deal programs created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The march was stalled, however, after negotiations between Roosevelt and Randolph prompted the establishment of the Fair Employment Practice Committee and an executive order banning discrimination in defense industries.
The FEPC dissolved just five years later, causing Randolph to revive his plans. He looked to the charismatic Dr. King to breathe new life into the march.
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Things You May Not Know About Mlks I Have A Dream Speech
Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images
On August 28, 1963, in front of a crowd of nearly 250,000 people spread across the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Baptist preacher and civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his now-famous I Have a Dream speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Organizers of the event, officially known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, had hoped 100,000 people would attend. In the end, more than twice that number flooded into the nations capital for the massive protest march, making it the largest demonstration in U.S. history to that date.
WATCH: The Power of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech
Kings I Have a Dream speech now stands out as one of the 20th centurys most unforgettable moments, but a few facts about it may still surprise you.
1.) There were initially no women included in the event.
2.) A white labor leader and a rabbi were among the 10 speakers on stage that day.
King was preceded by nine other speakers, notably including civil rights leaders like A. Philip Randolph and a young John Lewis, the future congressman from Georgia. The most prominent white speaker was Walter Reuther, head of the United Automobile Workers, a powerful labor union. The UAW helped fund the March on Washington, and Reuther would later march alongside King from Selma to Montgomery to protest for Black voting rights.
3.) King almost didnt deliver what is now the most famous part of the speech.
A Speech Becomes A Sermon
Not long after delivering that now-famous line, however, King changed course. Looking at his prepared speech, he balked when he reached this mouthful of a sentence: And so today, let us go back to our communities as members of the international association for the advancement of creative dissatisfaction. Instead, he transformed his speech into a sermon. He instructed the audience to Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama South Carolina Georgia Louisiana to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
King speechwriter Clarence Jones realized what was happening when he saw King push the text of his prepared remarks to one side, he wrote in the Washington Post in 2011. I leaned over and said to the person next to me, These people out there today dont know it yet, but theyre about ready to go to church. Onstage that day, as Branchs Parting the Waters quotes, the singer Mahalia Jackson, who had performed earlier, reportedly kept saying to King, as he spoke, Tell em about the dream, Martin. King never said if he heard her or not, but Julian Bond recently told me it would have been impossible not to, given their proximity on the stage and the resonance of Jacksons powerful voice.
Naacp And Sclc Center The March On Civil Rights
As the years passed on, the Civil Rights Act was still stalled in Congress, and equality for Americans of color still seemed like a far-fetched dream.
Randolph, his chief aide, Bayard Rustin, and Dr. King all decided it would be best to combine the two causes into one mega-march, the March for Jobs and Freedom.
NAACP, headed by Roy Wilkins, was called upon to be one of the leaders of the march.
As one of the largest and most influential civil rights groups at the time, our organization harnessed the collective power of its members, organizing a march that was focused on the advancement of civil rights and the actualization of Dr. King’s dream.
Ive Been To The Mountaintop By Dr Martin Luther King Jr
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at Mason Temple in Memphis, TN on April 3, 1968 the day before he was assassinated. License to reproduce this speech granted by Intellectual Properties Management, 1579-F Monroe Drive, Suite 235, Atlanta, Georgia 30324, as manager for the King Estate. Write to IPM re: copyright permission for use of words and images of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy in his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have your closest friend and associate say something good about you. And Ralph is the best friend that I have in the world.
I’m delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow. Something is happening in Memphis, something is happening in our world.
But I wouldn’t stop there. I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating president by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
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Fascinating Facts About The I Have A Dream Speech
It was on this day in 1963 that Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous I Have A Dream speech as part of the March on Washington. So how much do you know about the speech and the events that led up to it?
The speech was delivered to an estimated 250,000 people who came to Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963 to march for civil rights.
Here are 10 facts about the march and the events that led to the speech.
1. The official event was called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy made a nationally televised address calling for a drive for more civil rights. That same night, NAACP leader Medgar Evers was murdered in Mississippi.
2. Marches had been proposed before the Kennedy speech and Evers killing, but the events forced the issue. Kennedy met with civil rights leaders such as King, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young and student leader John Lewis about a proposed march. Kennedy signaled his approval publicly in July when he was assured it would be a peaceful event.
3. The March was not universally supported by activists. Prominent objectors included Malcolm X and Strom Thurmond. The organizers didnt agree on all the issues, either, but they did agree that people should march together at the event.
5. Almost no one could clearly hear Kings speech. An expensive sound system was installed for the event, but it was sabotaged right before it. Attorney General Robert Kennedy enlisted the Army Corps of Engineers to fix the system.
Five Score And 50 Years Ago
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued at the midpoint of the American Civil War, and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a moment that marked the spiritual summit of the civil rights movement. In place and time, they are joined at the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall in Washington, the nations shrine to the president who signed the proclamation declaring the slaves of the Confederate states free and the King who, 100 later, spoke to the disappointments and dreams of their descendants. Today, the words of both men authors of arguably the two greatest speeches in American history, the Gettysburg Address and the I Have a Dream speech are etched in stone and in memory at the Lincoln and King Memorials in Washington.
Lincoln Memorial, Aug. 28, 1963
No one understood the poetry of their parallel moments better than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself, who, speaking in front of Daniel Chester Frenchs iconic seated Lincoln statue, began his speech, Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation But 100 hundred years later the Negro still is not free. In this way, Dr. King framed Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator and made freedom at last the ideal by which we measure progress in our country.
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Original Copy Of The Speech
As King waved goodbye to the audience, George Raveling, volunteering as a security guard at the event, asked King if he could have the original typewritten manuscript of the speech. Raveling, a star college basketball player for the Villanova Wildcats, was on the podium with King at that moment. King gave it to him. Raveling kept custody of the original copy, for which he has been offered $3 million, but he has said he does not intend to sell it. In 2021, he gave it to Villanova University. It is intended to be used in a “long-term ‘on loan’ arrangement.”
Venue And Sound System
The organizers originally planned to hold the march outside the Capitol Building. However, Reuther persuaded them to move the march to the Lincoln Memorial. He believed the Lincoln Memorial would be less threatening to Congress and the occasion would be appropriate underneath the gaze of President Abraham Lincoln’s statue. The committee, notably Rustin, agreed to move the site on the condition that Reuther pay for a $19,000 sound system so that everyone on the National Mall could hear the speakers and musicians.
Rustin pushed hard for the expensive sound system, maintaining that “We cannot maintain order where people cannot hear.” The system was obtained and set up at the Lincoln Memorial, but was sabotaged on the day before the March. Its operators were unable to repair it. Fauntroy contacted Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and his civil rights liaison Burke Marshall, demanding that the government fix the system. Fauntroy reportedly told them: “We have a couple hundred thousand people coming. Do you want a fight here tomorrow after all we’ve done?” The system was successfully rebuilt overnight by the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
On August 28, more than 2,000 buses, 21 chartered trains, 10 chartered airliners, and uncounted cars converged on Washington. All regularly scheduled planes, trains, and buses were also filled to capacity.
|Dr. King’s speech begins at 1:30, 8/28/1963, Educational Radio Network|
The order of the speakers was as follows:
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The March Was A Hollywood Star
Popular actor and singer Harry Belafonte used his star power to help bring other celebrities to the March on Washington. Besides reaching out to the stars themselves, Belafonte went to many of the studio heads in Hollywood to get prominent actors and actresses temporarily released from their duties so they could participate.
He was successful. The Hollywood list of attendees that day read like a whos who of A-listers: Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., Charlton Heston and Burt Lancaster, who also gave a speech.
But having the Hollywood stars there wasnt just for show or for increased media attention. It also helped calm President John F. Kennedys nerves about the march.
I believe that their presence did a lot to assuage people who were preoccupied with the fact there could be violence, Belafonte said.
One of the things that I said in my conversations with the Kennedys in discussing why they should be more yielding in their support of our demonstration was the fact that there would be such a presence of highly profiled artists that that alone would put anxiety to rest, he added.
People would be looking at the occasion in a far more festive way.
Where Did Dr King Give This Speech For What Special Event
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington, a large gathering of civil rights protesters in Washington, D.C., United States.
At what event did King deliver his iconic speech?
I Have a Dream, speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., that was delivered on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. A call for equality and freedom, it became one of the defining moments of the civil rights movement and one of the most iconic speeches in American history.
What was the occasion of the I Have a Dream Speech?
King addresses a crowd of demonstrators outside the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington on August 28, 1963. He delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech to more than 250,000 people.
When and where did Martin Luther King give his speech?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered this iconic I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. See entire text of Kings speech below.
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