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April 04 2011

'I Have a Dream': 10 Martin Luther King speech facts

Source: Telegraph (UK) (4-4-11)

Here are 10 facts you might not know about Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.

1) The speech is known as “I Have a Dream” but those words were never in the original draft, they were ad libbed on the day.

2) It lasts 17 minutes and is widely considered to have been drafted in New York and then in Washington in the hours before the rally.

3) As a result of the speech, Dr King was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine in 1963, and won the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.

4) Dr King drew his references from a wide variety of sources, including the Bible, the US Declaration of Independence and Shakespeare.

5) The speech was watched by more than 200,000 people assembled for the March on Washington, the largest march of the civil rights movement, as well as millions on television.

6) According to his co-authors, Dr King was so busy with the march that, 12 hours before the speech, he still did not have a firm idea about what he was going to say.

7) It was ranked the top speech of the 20th Century by a poll of academics.

8) It is said to have had several names and drafts, including “The normalcy speech” and “A Cancelled check”.

9) Dr King was the subject of one of the Irish band U2’s most famous songs, Pride (In the Name of Love).

10) Describing watching the oration, his co-author Clarence B Jones said the speech “went on to depart drastically from the draft I'd delivered”, adding: “In front of all those people, cameras, and microphones, Martin
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Anniversary of the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. has become a symbol of peace and tolerance in the United States. Forty-three years ago, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Today, we honor the man by remembering him and his family legacy.

The Geni Profile of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King’s four children (Yolanda, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice) and his wife Coretta have all continued promoting his goals of equality and nonviolence.

Dr. King's Family Tree

We would love to see Dr. King and his family connected to the world family tree. If you have any sourced information, don’t hesitate at all to jump in, and contribute. If you’re particularly interested in the history of the civil rights movement in general, you can join the Civil Rights Project right here on Geni.

Join the worlds largest free family tree
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