Friday marks the 52nd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Though mostly all Americans are familiar with his famous speech, it had widely been “vanished from public view” by the time of his tragic death in 1968. Continue reading for more fun and interesting facts about MLK’s “I Have A Dream,” courtesy of the Telegraph, NY Mag and Constitution Daily.
1.The “I Have a Dream” part of the speech wasn’t a part of the original draft. Singer Mahalia Jackson coached Dr. King to tell the listeners “about the dream.”
2. The full speech is 17 minutes long and was reportedly written in New York and Washington, D.C.
3. Dr. King was inspired by other famous works: English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, the U.S. Declaration of Independence and The Bible influenced the “I Have A Dream” speech.
4. Even though it’s known as the “I Have A Dream” speech, it was originally called “The Normalcy Speech” and “A Canceled Check”.
5. The civil rights leader stayed up until 4 a.m. the night before working on the speech. He reportedly told an aide that he wanted the speech to sound like President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
6. People almost never clearly heard Dr. King’s speech. Even though an expensive sound system was installed for the event, it was damaged right before. Thanks to Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Army Corps of Engineers were able to fix the speakers before Dr. King took the stage.
7. Clarence B. Jones, who helped co-write the speech, said Dr. King adlibbed much of the speech, especially the famous “I have a dream” part. The speech “went on to depart drastically from the draft I'd delivered,” Jones reportedly said, adding: “In front of all those people, cameras, and microphones, Martin winged it.”
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