50th anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech
On this day 50 years ago, the Rev Dr Martin Luther King jr gave one of the greatest speeches in American history, one that resonated with oppressed people around the globe.
The I have a Dream speech was delivered to 250,000 people who had taken part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march focused on racial equality and was part of the civil rights movement. The essence of King’s speech was captured in these words:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Dr King was arrested more than 20 times during his leadership of the movement in the 1950s and 1960s. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1964. Killed by an assassin’s bullet on 4 April 1968, his life and struggle are commemorated through a public holiday in the United States—Martin Luther King Day—which was introduced by President Reagan in 1986.