I have a dream

Martin_Luther_KingThe 15th of January is the birth date of Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929 – 1968. At the age of 35, in 1964, he was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

This well known phrase is explored in ‘Who Said That First?’

Notably said by Baptist minister Martin Luther King in Detroit in June 1963, then again with tremendous effect at the Lincoln Memorial,Washington, in August 1963. The expression is simple and could have been used previously by others at other times – there is an echo of Stephen Sondheim’s words (‘I had a dream’) introducing Ethel Merman’s hit number ‘Everything’s Coming up Roses’ in the show Gypsy (1959), but such was the impact of the Lincoln Memorial speech there is little doubt that when the phrase is used nowadays, Martin Luther King comes to mind first.


From ‘Who Said That First’ by Max Cryer.

Dr. King delivered the “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Along with Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” it is considered to be one of the greatest speeches of all time. The full speech is available for reading at The King Center’s website.

Image: Martin Luther King, Jr. giving a lecture, 26 March 1964.
Source: Library of Congress. U.S. News & World Report. Photographer unknown. No known copyright restrictions.