When planning today's show, I thought that it would be my last broadcast before MLK Day, which falls on January 16 this year. (Dr. King's actual birthday falls on January 15 but is celebrated every third Monday in January. Read about the struggle to pass the bill to make MLK Day a federal holiday here.) To my pleasant surprise, the WVOX AM 1460 brass invited me today to host a special one-hour MLK Day broadcast at 3:00-4:00 pm, Eastern Time. I hope you'll join me.
During today's broadcast, Steve (who's also an accomplished actor) read an excerpt from Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech." Here are some interesting but little-known facts about that speech.
- Dr. King delivered the electrifying address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to approximately 300,000 people. They had gathered at the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington DC on August 28, 1963.
- "I Have a Dream," Dr. King' last and most famous speech, was not the address he had intended to give. He had actually prepared another text. But his long-term friend, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, encouraged King: "Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about your dream!" So he extemporaneously delivered the oratory that AmericanRhetoric.com ranks #1 among the top 100 speeches of all time.
- Read the text and hear the speech at AmericanRhetoric.com.
- History and Politics Out Loud also provides the "I Have a Dream" text and audio online.
Did you know that two other speeches delivered by Dr. King rank among the American Rhetoric Top 100 Speeches?
- "I've Been to the Mountaintop" ranks #15. Dr. King delivered it on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Click here for the online text and audio.
- "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" ranks #43. Dr. King delivered it on April 4, 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City. Click here for the online text and audio.
History and Politics Out Load, provides downloadable audio and text for several other speeches delivered by Dr. King:
- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. sermon explaining his start in the movement for civil rights
- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I am a drum major for justice"
- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his most famous address, "I have a dream" Date: 1963-08-28
- "Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" Date: 1967-04-16
- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. sermon: "The Good Samaritan or 'If I had sneezed...' " Date: 1968-01-16.
There are numerous resources where you can learn more about Dr. King's life and works. Several that I highly recommend include:
- The King Center in Atlanta, which educates the world about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's philosophy and methods for nonviolent social change. The King Center was founded by Dr. King's widow, Coretta Scott King.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, a collection of primary and secondary documents pertaining to Martin Luther King, Jr.
- In keeping with this year's MLK Day theme--Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off!--the Corporation for National Community Service, USA Freedom Corps, the National Service Agency and numerous volunteers and sponsors have joined forces to make the holiday a day of service. Visit www.mlkday.gov to learn more, find service ideas and grant money to support them, and register your service project(s).
- Tune in to my one-hour MLK Day special broadcast on WVOX AM 1460 and www.wvox.com at 3:00-4:00 pm, Eastern Time. Or call our phone-in line to hear and share at (01) 914 636 0110. My guest, Darius Myers, and I will share some interesting personal experiences and little-known facts about MLK and the Civil Rights Movement, pose some thought-provoking What-If questions, share recordings from 1960s Civil Rights events, discuss King on Leadership and more!
- Afterward, join me at the Westchester Library System Annual African-American Writers & Readers Literary Tea at Abigail Kirsch Tappan Hill in Tarrytown, NY. The event represents the official kickoff for programs and events at Westchester libraries during African-American History Month and will feature African-American authors Martha Southgate, Jill Nelson, Grace R. Edwards, and Eric Copage. The tea is co-sponsored by The Bank of America and The Journal News in association with the Westchester County Chapter of The Links and will benefit the Westchester Library System. The event co-chairs are Toni Cox-Burns and JoAnn Dudley. The Honorary Chairperson is Andrea Stewart-Cousins of The Journal News. Call (914) 231-3226 or visit www.westchesterlibraries.org/special/tea.html for more information.
- Finally, at the end of the day, I will enjoy videos and CDs about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement and savor some soul food with relatives and friends. ###