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50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech"


50-years-ago Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered a speech that would go down in American history.

On August 28, 1963 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led approximately 250,000 people in the march on Washington for jobs and freedom.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal," King said.

The event was held to protest discrimination, joblessness, and economic inequality faced by African Americans. In his iconic speech Dr. King proclaimed that he dreamed of a world where racism and inequality did not exist.

"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," said King. "I have a dream today."

The march, and King's words set the stage for both the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

On Wednesday, with the rest the nation, Virginia is marking the 50th anniversary of the speech.

The University of Virginia is holding two events on grounds. "Let Freedom Ring at UVa" starts at 2:00 p.m. in the Rotunda Dome Room, and "The March@50," is from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the auditorium at the Harrison Institute. (see link below) Both events are free and open to the public.

At 3:00 p.m. bells will ring around the country, including those at the UVa Chapel, to commemorate the 50th anniversary.

As many as 20,000 people are expected to fill the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to hear tributes to Dr. King, including a speech by President Barack Obama.


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