|Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses the crowd attending the 1963 March on Washington.|
Today is the 50th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech given by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., as he addressed the crowd attending the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom during the height of the civi rights movement. Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as he spoke to the crowd of more than 250,000 civil rights supporters, calling for an end to racial discrimination in America.
Referring to the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing millions of slaves in 1863, King's speech lamented the fact that "one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free." Acclaimed gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson was heard to cry out "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" This may be what prompted Dr. King, toward the end of his speech, to depart from the text he had prepared, and to talk about his dreams for a society of true freedom and equality for all of its people, leading him to deliver what various scholars have declared to be the greatest American speech of the 20th century.
|Over 250,000 heard Dr. King's now-famous address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.|
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