Today, August 28th, 2013, is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King‘s memorable “I have a dream” speech. Every American, and many others all around the world know the famous speech that King gave at the 1963 March on Washington DC. Two hundred and fifty thousand people were there to hear him speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and this renowned monolog helped motivate the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Dr. King was a dreamer, but a dreamer that also took matter into his own hands. He was a fervent activist who wasn’t afraid of going to jail for his beliefs, hence he fought hard for the civil rights and racial equality.
Born on January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was the son of the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. King was ordained in 1947 and became minister of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954.
On April 16th, 1963, while a non-violent protest against racism and racial segregation was taking place in Birmingham, Alabama, police turned dogs and fire hoses on the participants, which led to the arrest of many supporters. Several were brought to jail and among them, was Martin Luther King Jr. His also famous “Letter from A Birmingham Jail” has become one of the most important letters of the African American history.
A year later, in 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Civil Rights movement and reaching racial justice through nonviolent protests in America. Unfortunately, three years later, the great leader was tragically assassinated.
At 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, King is killed by James Earl Ray while standing on the balcony, outside his room on the second floor, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. King left to all Americans a great legacy by his acts and writings. They are an example for every following generation since then.
In honor of this special day, here is below a video showing this memorable speech that will be burned into our memories forever!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons