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Martin Luther King

Nige Tassell shines a light on one of the Civil Rights Movement’s biggest events, at which one pacifist pastor revealed his dream, and which would forever change the lives of millions…
“WE CANNOT WALK ALONE” 28 August 1963: As they hold hands, Martin Luther King and the other leaders of the March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom make history


With a podium weighed down by microphones in front of him, Dr.Martin Luther King could be forgiven if he showed any sign of nerves. Behind him was a vast statue of Abraham Lincoln gazing down imperiously, the President who’d drawn the curtain on slavery in the US. In front of Dr King was a sight previously unseen by any human eye – a quarter of a million American citizens who’d descended upon the US capital for the historic March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom. And capturing the unprecedented events for a global audience were the massed, unblinking lenses of the world’s media.

The next 17 minutes would arguably be the most significant of the civil rights leader’s 34 years. In those few moments, he would deliver what is commonly regarded as one of the greatest pieces of public oratory ever recorded – what would become known as the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. But there was no tremble or trepidation in his voice. This was his time, these were his people. The situation and the audience were in his pocket. Towards the end of his speech, King abandoned his notes and gazed out over the sea of faces gathered before the Lincoln Memorial. Reacting to encouragement from the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (“Tell them about the dream, Martin!”), King embarked on the now-legendary unscripted passage with its hope-saturated refrain – “I have a dream...”.

The view from the podium – 250,000 activists stand before the Washington Monument, surrounding the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool


Just three Senators, all Democrats, were pictured at the March: Phillip Hart, from Michigan, Wayne Morse, of Oregon and William Proxmire from Wisconsin.

STANDING FOR JUSTICE King addresses the marchers at the Lincoln Memorial
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The March 2016 issue of History Revealed.