I have a dream… by Martin Luther King Jr.

As much as the Gettysburg Address, this speech by Martin Luther King Jr. is now one of our United States founding documents. He delivered it during the March on Washington for jobs and justice, on August 28, 1963. He stood on the top steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave it to a crowd of 250,000 people on the Mall.

MLK had a prepared speech that he was 11 minutes into reading when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, sitting nearby, shouted to King, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”. He then departed from his prepared speech and spoke extemporaneously - and this is the dream speech.

We are hopefully still moving towards a nation that walks its talk - that practices what it preaches - that all men - all persons - are created equal. That was MLK’s dream and in 1963 it was relevant to where our country stood in its history, just as Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was relevant to where our country stood 100 years - 5 score years - earlier in November 1863 when it was delivered.

Link to a video of just “I have a dream…” - the last 5 minutes of his speech.

Link to a video of the full speech - an 18 minute video.

Link to the text of the full speech as given.

- John Servais