August 28

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

August 28, 1963 - statewide

It was 17 minutes that changed history. On August 28, 1963, native Georgian Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. The speech is widely regarded as one of the most eloquent and memorable in American history.

The March on Washington, coordinated by A. Phillip Randolph, was designed to pressure the Kennedy administration for civil rights legislation. An estimated 200,000 people heard a lot of speakers and singers that day, including John Lewis and Bob Dylan. But it was King’s Biblical allusions, moral imperatives, and lyrical cadence that everyone remembers. His speech and the march itself were instrumental in garnering support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act a year later. Dr. King was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year,” and in 1964 he became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2003, The National Park Service marked the spot at the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King spoke in a defining moment of the American civil rights movement on August 28, 1963, Today in Georgia History.