Aug 28, 2015
On this date in 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
delivered one of the most iconic speeches of the last century on
the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Here are some things you may not have known about the "I Have
a Dream" speech:
The full name of the event King was speaking at was the March
on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Initially it was organized by
A. Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, who envisioned a two-day
sit-in and protest with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Later a
group of civil-rights leaders called the Big Six took over
organizing and funding of the event.
The night before the march, as one of the Big Six, King had
been so busy helping organize the event that he hadn't settled on
what he planned to say the next day. The speech has its roots in
several other of King's speeches, including one he gave in Detroit
in June 1963. Toward the end of the speech, at the urging of gospel
singer Mahalia Jackson, King broke from his prepared remarks and
began speaking extemporaneously. This is the part of the speech
that is most famous today.
In the speech, King didn't use the word "dream" until more
than 11 minutes into the 16-minute address. King then proceeds to
use the phrase “I Have a Dream” or a variation eight times in the
final third of the speech.
The repeated use of a word or term for emphasis is a
rhetorical device known as anaphora. It also adds rhythm to a work
and helps make the text easier to remember.
Our question, who was president of the United States during
the March on Washington?
Today is also unofficially National Cherry Turnovers Day in
the United States. It's the birthday of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,
actor and dancer Donald O'Connor, actor Jack Black and singer
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