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MHS Library | Justice - Year 11 Context

Martin Luther King - I have a dream speech, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ address on Aug. 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Click here to read the full text (courtesy of U.S. National Archives).

As King was ending his speech, he quoted from the patriotic song, “My Country ’tis of Thee” and urged his audience to “let freedom ring.”

“When we allow freedom to ring — when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last, great God almighty, we are free at last,” King said.

The civil rights leader was assassinated five years later, on April 4, 1968.


See Washington front pages from 11 March 1963 here.