Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech: 50th Anniversary!
“Throngs of people descended on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech — some of whom had been there a half-century ago for the reverend’s historic oratory.
King’s soaring address, delivered to 250,000 supporters, punctuated the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was a watershed moment for race relations in America that has been remembered in a week-long series of events, which culminated in remarks from President Obama on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday afternoon.
“His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time,” Obama said of King.
Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Foxx were among a list of speakers addressing a nation that has made great strides in racial equality since King’s “dream” speech helped bring about landmark civil rights legislation.
“Dr. King was the passionate voice that awakened the conscience of the nation,” Winfrey told the people in the crowd, urging them to carry on his message. “He challenged us to see how we all are more alike than we are different.”
Organizers told The Associated Press that 200,000 people were expected to attend Wednesday’s event.
Betty Gray, 67, traveled to Washington from Richmond, Va., for the anniversary of the speech, which she went to 50 years ago. She said she took the NAACP bus for four dollars round-trip 50 years ago and went because her mother was a civil rights activist who was honored by former President Harry Truman for helping sign black people up to vote.
“It’s in my mom’s memory that I’m here today,” said Gray, who also attended both inaugurations for Obama.
Events were planned throughout the day to mark the 50th anniversary, starting with a 9 a.m. interfaith service. Speakers, including various senators and congressmen and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were also part of the commemoration.
“As we go home today, let us remember that the dreamer was also a doer,” Jealous said. “Let us not just be dreamers this day. Let us recommit to being doers.”
Family members of King also spoke. Martin Luther King III, King’s son, said his dad “challenged” his supporters to love all other people, regardless of who they were.”
Happy 50th Anniversary! Let’s keep the dream alive!!! ♥
Posted on August 28, 2013, in Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King Jr., News and tagged civil rights, I Have a Dream, I Have a Dream Speech 50th Anniversary, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King III, Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream, National Mall in Washington D.C., news, Oprah Winfrey, President Obama, Speech. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.