Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Jordan Coley, Sports Editor

Martin Luther King Jr. left this world over 40 years ago. Three decades ago, President Reagan agreed to honor King with the creation of a national holiday. Over 3 million people signed a petition in support of the creation of a holiday. Initially, Reagan refused to give the people what they desired. He believed that this would open the door for other groups to demand a similar holiday. However, he coincided and created the national holiday in remembrance of MLK Jr.

While Martin Luther King Jr. Is mainly known for his “I have a dream” speech, King had many other memorable moments on his road towards reaching equality. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from Luther’s life.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”. Letter from Birmingham City Jail, 1963

“We may all have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” I Have a Dream, 1963

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”. St Louis, 1964

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Letter from Birmingham City Jail, 1963

While these quotes are lesser known, they still relate to many alive today. In addition to these quotes, King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Here are some fun facts about his world renowned speech, provided by

1) The speech is known as “I Have a Dream” but those words were never in the original draft, they were ad libbed on the day.

2) It lasts 17 minutes and is widely considered to have been drafted in New York and then in Washington in the hours before the rally.

3) As a result of the speech, Dr King was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine in 1963, and won the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.

4) Dr King drew his references from a wide variety of sources, including the Bible, the US Declaration of Independence and Shakespeare.

5) The speech was watched by more than 200,000 people assembled for the March on Washington, the largest march of the civil rights movement, as well as millions on television.

6) According to his co-authors, Dr King was so busy with the march that, 12 hours before the speech, he still did not have a firm idea about what he was going to say.

7) It was ranked the top speech of the 20th Century by a poll of academics.

8) It is said to have had several names and drafts, including “The normalcy speech” and “A Cancelled check”.

9) Dr King was the subject of one of the Irish band U2’s most famous songs, Pride (In the Name of Love).

10) Describing watching the oration, his co-author Clarence B Jones said the speech “went on to depart drastically from the draft I’d delivered”, adding: “In front of all those people, cameras, and microphones, Martin winged it.”