Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, and died in Memphis on April 4, 1968.
When King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, at the time he was the youngest Peace Prize winner ever, at the age of 35. His acceptance speech in Norway included the famous statement, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
King apparently improvised parts of the “I Have A Dream” speech in August 1963, including its title passage.
What a couple of years: April 1963 - King is arrested for leading a march in Birmingham, Alabama. While in solitary confinement he writes an essay entitled "Letter from Birmingham Jail."August 28, 1963 - During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The demonstration is attended by more than 250,000 people.1963 - Is named Time magazine's Man of the Year.July 2, 1964 - King stands behind President Lyndon B. Johnson as Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.1964 - Wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
"I HAVE A DREAM ..."
(Copyright 1963, MARTIN LtrTHER KING, JR.)
Speooh by the Rev. MARTIN LuTHER KING
At the "March on vYashington"
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down
in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in
the history of our nation.
Five ~core years ago a great American in whose sym
holic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation
Proclamation. This momen:tous cleeree is a great beacon
light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been
~e.arrd in the flames o[ withering injushcc. It came as a
joyous daybre,ak to end the long night of their captivity.
But 100 years late<r the Negro still is not free. One hun
dred years later the 1i.fe of the Negro is still badly
erippled by the manacles of s-tgrPg-ation and the chains of
discriminatio11. One hnndred years later the Ne,gro lives
on a lone,Jy i:"]and of poverty in the mids1t of a va1S1t ooean
of matE>.rial prospcrity.
Out> hundred years later the
~egro is still larugui~hed iu the comer~s o.f American
~oci. ety and find;:; himself in exile in his own land. So
wo '''<' come hf'rP torlay to r1r.amatize a s,hameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash
a eheck. Whrn the a. reb it ects of our Re:publie wrote the
magnificent. wonls of the Constitution a.nd the Declaration
o1 Independence, they were signing a promiss'Cl<ry note to
which every American wa:" to fall heir.
'I'his no,te was a
promise that all nwn-yc::;, bla,ek men as we11 as white
rmm-wonld he g1mnmtPt'd the unalienable rights of life,
liherty a]l(l the pnrsni1 of ha.ppine'Ss. It is obvious today
tha.t Amcri(a lms <lcfaulted on this promissory note inso
far as hP>r citi7.ens of co.Jo,r arr concP:rned.
honoring ih1s sacn'd ohli,gation, America ha.s given the
Nngro p0ople a bad check, a check which has come back
marked ''insufficient fn nds.''
But we refus.e to helieve that the bank of justice is
bankrupt. We rp.fnse to belie\~~ t.ha.t there are insufficient
fuwls in the grea.t vaults of opp