On This Day, Aug. 28, 1963 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Tells America ‘I Have a Dream’

1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at a civil rights rally in Washington, DC. More than 200,000 people attended.

King, a Baptist minister, was a driving force in the push for racial equality in the 1950’s and the 1960’s. In 1963, King and his staff focused on Birmingham, Alabama. They marched and protested non-violently, raising the ire of local officials who sicced water cannon and police dogs on the marchers, whose ranks included teenagers and children. The bad publicity and break-down of business forced the white leaders of Birmingham to concede to some anti-segregation demands.

Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King helped organize a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. His partners in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom included other religious leaders, labor leaders, and black organizers. The assembled masses marched down the Washington Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, heard songs from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and heard speeches by actor Charlton Heston, NAACP president Roy Wilkins, and future U.S. Representative from Georgia John Lewis.

King’s appearance was the last of the event; the closing speech was carried live on major television networks. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King evoked the name of Lincoln in his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


1609 – Delaware Bay was discovered by Henry Hudson.

1619 – Ferdinand II was elected Holy Roman Emperor. His policy of “One church, one king” was his way of trying to outlaw Protestantism.

1774 – The first American-born saint was born in New York City. Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized in 1975.

1830 – “The Tom Thumb” was demonstrated in Baltimore, MD. It was the first passenger-carrying train of its kind to be built in America.

1833 – Slavery was banned by the British Parliament throughout the British Empire.

1907 – “American Messenger Company” was started by two teenagers, Jim Casey and Claude Ryan. The company’s name was later changed to “United Parcel Service.”

1916 – Italy’s declaration of war against Germany took effect during World War I.

1917 – Ten suffragists were arrested as they picketed the White House.

1922 – The first radio commercial aired on WEAF in New York City. The Queensboro Realty Company bought 10 minutes of time for $100.

1922 – The Walker Cup was held for the first time at Southampton, NY. It is the oldest international team golf match in America.

1939 – The first successful flight of a jet-propelled airplane took place. The plane was a German Heinkel He 178.

1941 – The Football Writers Association of America was organized.

1972 – David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars made their debut at Carnegie Hall in New York.

1972 – Mark Spitz captured the first of his seven gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He set a world record when he completed the 200-meter butterfly in 2 minutes and 7/10ths of a second.

1981 – “The New York Daily News” published its final afternoon edition.

1990 – Iraq declared Kuwait to be its 19th province and renamed Kuwait City al-Kadhima.

1995 – The biggest bank in the U.S. was created when Chase Manhattan and Chemical Bank announced their $10 billion deal.

1996 – A divorce decree was issued for Britain’s Charles and Princess Diana. This was the official end to the 15-year marriage.

1998 – The Pakistani prime minister created new Islamic order and legal system based on the Koran.

2004 – George Brunstad, at age 70, became the oldest person to swim the English Channel. The swim from Dover, England, to Sangatte, France, took 15 hours and 59 minutes.

 

Source: On-This-Day.com; usconstitution.net