Do you know the real story behind Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech? Here are a few bits of information you may not be familiar with.
- The speech took place at a peaceful demonstration called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” The event was held on August 28, 1963.
- King wasn’t planning on speaking at the event at all. The schedule was packed throughout the day with a variety of speakers and entertainment. However, no one wanted the last time slot of the day, so King agreed to be the concluding speaker.
- While King was allotted four minutes for his remarks, his speech ended up being 16 minutes long.
- King had a prepared speech that didn’t include anything about his now-famous dream. However, during his prepared remarks, Mahalia Jackson hollered out “Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin!” She was referring to a topic King had briefly discussed at an event two months earlier. Honoring her request, King departed from his prepared remarks and delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech that we are all familiar with today.
- Historians believe that King’s speech, along with the march, had a significant impact on the passing of the Civil Rights act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
These facts and many more can be found in this video on Martin Luther King Jr.