'I Have a Dream' speech 50 years old

Aug. 28 will mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march on Washington, D.C., and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Veteran Congressman John Lewis recalled that event in a speech at the U.S. Capitol in late July. He called it "one of the finest hours of American democracy" and remembered the surprise he and other planners felt as they saw a crowd beyond their highest expectations gathering.

"The plan was that we would leave the Senate, walk down Constitution Avenue and lead people to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.," he said. "But when we stepped out into the streets, we saw hundreds and thousands of people pouring out of Union Station. They were black and white, Latino, Asian and Native American. There were members of every faith, speakers of many different languages. American citizens, especially those living in Europe, came from abroad to participate. Celebrities were there, but mostly there were countless and nameless thousands of ordinary people with extraordinary vision who came." 

You can read his whole speech here.

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The Aug. 26/Sept. 2 issue of Time magazine provides a fantastic and complete coverage of the event and the effect it had on scores of those who were there.


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