'I Have a Dream' Speech Facts

'I Have a Dream' Speech Facts
American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech on August 28th, 1963 calling for an end to racism, in which he spoke the words "I have a dream". These four words would come to be one of the most well-known phrases in America's African-American history. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the speech to an audience of more than 250,000 supporters of civil rights from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He gave this speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he shared his dreams of equality and freedom which he believed could rise from the hatred and slavery in America. Although slavery had been abolished 100 years before, African-Americans were still being treated unequally and were not truly free. Martin Luther King Jr. fought hard until his murder to change the way African-Americans were treated in society.
Interesting 'I Have a Dream' Speech Facts:
June 11th, 1963 President John F. Kennedy's televised address called for more civil rights.
June 11th, 1963, Medgar Evers, the NAACP leader was murdered. The NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was established in 1909. It was an African-American civil rights organization.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedoms took place only a few months after John F. Kennedy's address and the murder of Medgar Evers. Marches had been discussed but nothing was organized until Kennedy's speech and Edgar's murder.
Malcom X was opposed to the march. All issues were not agreed on by the organizers of the march but they all agreed on one important point. Blacks and whites should march together.
A sound system was installed for Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech but somebody sabotaged it. The Army Corp of Engineers fixed it in time. Robert Kennedy was the Attorney General at the time and recruited the engineers' help.
NAACPs co-founder William Edward Burghardt Du Bois died at the age of 95, one day before the march and King's speech.
The 'I have a dream' part of Martin Luther King's speech was almost not spoken. At the urging of Mahalia Jackson, a singer, who shouted at him to tell the audience "about the dream" he improvised his original speech and made history with those four words.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech alluded to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, The Emancipation Proclamation, and the U.S. Constitution.
Martin Luther King Jr. used the phrase 'I have a dream' eight times in his speech. One phrase was "I have a dream that my four little 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."
King's speech ended with the phrase "Free at last! Free at Last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
At the end of the speech King gave the typewritten copy to George Raveling, a basketball player and volunteer for the event. He was offered $3 million for it but wouldn't sell it.
Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on April 4th, 1968, at the age of 38, in Memphis, Tennessee.
The speech is under copyright until 2038 in the United States.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech was added to the United States National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2002.


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