Martin Luther King, Jr. Having His Dream, Granting His Wish

John Macriss, Staff Writer

There was once a man with a dream. That dream was a dream of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred. That man shared his dream with the world, and it has come true. That man was Martin Luther King, Jr.

King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, Atlanta, Georgia. He was a precocious student in school, skipping both the ninth and twelfth grade, graduating at the age of 15. He then attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, learning theological study for three years before graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951.

In 1957, he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now flourishing civil rights movement.

In 11 years, between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles in America, and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, going to wherever there was injustice, protest, and action. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world. But none got more attention than his “I Have A Dream” speech.

On August 28, 1963, King delivered that speech, in which he called it an end to racism in the United States. It was short speech, about 17 minutes, but was delivered right in front of more than 200,000 civil rights supporters at the Lincoln Memorial.

On October 14, 1964, King received theNobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality throughnonviolence, becoming its youngest recipient. For the next few years, King began to focus on poverty and the Vietnam War.

On April 4, 1968, King was shot from his second-floor balcony of theLorraine Motel inMemphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray. He and his wife’s tomb lies at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia.

Now on the third monday of every January, close or on King’s birthday, we celebrate his life and achievements, for all that he has done for this country to give blacks equal rights as white people.

Martin Luther King Day is a United States Federal Holiday that was first celebrated on Jan. 20, 1986. All states celebrated this holiday by 2000. But We are not the only one’s who celebrate this holiday. Israel; Toronto, Canada; and Hiroshima, Japan also celebrate MLK Day.

MLK Day is also celebrated alongside other days in the United States. For example, it is combined withCivil Rights Day in Arizona and New Hampshire, while it is observed together with Human Rights Day in Idaho. It is also a day that is combined withRobert E. Lee’s birthday in some states.

Since his death, we have mainly focused on his most successful speech, the “I Have A Dream” speech, but the speech did not appear in writing until August 1983, when a transcript was published in the Washington Post. Many things have happened to it since then. In 2002, theLibrary of Congress honored the speech by adding it to the United States National Recording Registry.In 2003, theNational Park Service dedicated an inscribed marble pedestal to commemorate the location of King’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

Also, under the applicable copyright laws, the speech will remain undercopyright in the United States until 70 years after King’s death,which will be 2038. The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.