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"Speeches"

MLK's Address at the Pilgrimage for Democracy

Sunday, December 15, 1963
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Dr. King discusses the issues of segregation, poverty and discrimination within the City of Atlanta, in this 1963 speech at the Pilgrimage for Democracy. He explains that although Atlanta was thought to be a place of "racial harmony," the reality of glaring discrimination in Atlanta's schools, restaurants, and housing has left the local Negro community "tired," and hungry for change.

Statement by MLK

Monday, March 4, 1968
Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, VIETNAM

Dr. King warns the United States about the possibility of downfall should the federal government fail to change its policies. He sets a date for the SCLC to go to Washington D.C. and lead nonviolent demonstrations with the purpose of eradicating racism and poverty in America.

The Chicago Plan

Friday, January 7, 1966
Chicago, IL, Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL), Tennessee (TN), Indiana (IN), Louisville, KY, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, CONGO / ZAIRE, BELGIUM, SOUTH AFRICA, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY

Dr. King makes a public statement addressing the poor economic and housing conditions in the North. Dr. King specifically identifies Chicago as the prototype for the conditions occurring within this region. He describes a three phase plan detailing how to properly address and manage the problems effectively.

Statement of Congressman Seymour Halpern in the House Debate on the Voting Rights Bill

Washington, D.C., New York (NY), New York, NY, PUERTO RICO, Jackson, MS

Mr. Halpern addresses the Chairman of the House of Representatives in favor of passing the Voting Rights Bill. He wants to ensure that the bill is enacted in a way that will not allow it to be manipulated by individual states, causing further discrimination against African Americans and non-English speakers. Mr. Halpern goes on to explain other acts that must take place and suggests other tenants to be incorporated into the bill in order to make sure all Americans have equal rights under the law.

MLK Comments on Jack O'Dell's Alleged Communist Ties

Dr. King attempts to correct the erroneous impressions created by various newspapers alleging Jack O'Dell's connection to "Communist" activities. While Dr. King maintains Mr. O'Dell's strong work performance, the Detroit native will relinquish his role "in order to avoid embarrassment to SCLC."

MLK Speech Outline

This document contains a preliminary speech outline by Dr. King. The topic of the talk is "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness," and in it Dr. King maintains that, "We must continue to courageously challenge the system of segregation."

The Southern Struggle - What Can You Do?

North Carolina (NC), Atlanta, GA, Montgomery, AL

Corretta Scott King discusses the privilege of being able to experience a great social revolution based on love and nonviolence, as inspired by the teachings of Jesus and Gandhi. She identifies Rosa Park's personal protest on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama as the beginning of the southern struggle and consequent revolution. She goes on to describe how this simple act aroused a great movement across the south, ultimately leading to the creation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in January of 1957.

Speech to SCLC Convention about Vietnam

Thursday, August 12, 1965
Birmingham, AL

Dr. King makes one of his first public statements opposing the war in Vietnam during the SCLC Convention held in Birmingham. According to King, "Neither the American people nor the people of North Vietnam is the enemy. The true enemy is war itself, and people on both sides are trapped in its inexorable destruction."

Annual Address by MLK for the Montgomery Improvement Association

Thursday, December 3, 1959
Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, Boston, MA, EGYPT, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, Georgia (GA), Philadelphia, PA, Pennsylvania (PA), SPAIN, Virginia (VA)

This document outlines Dr. King's address for the Fourth Anniversary of the Montgomery Improvement Association, held at Bethel Baptist Church in Montgomery. In the address, Dr. King speaks about the history, achievements and current task of the Association.

Draft of Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

This document is one draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Dr. King applauds the world for recognizing the American Civil Rights Movement and states that this award represents for him a "deepening commitment" to the philosophy of nonviolence.

The Importance of Voting

Thursday, September 6, 1962
New York (NY), New York, NY

This transcript documents Dr. King's recorded statement intended to raise awareness of voting and voter registration.

An Address by MLK at the 53rd Convention of the NAACP

Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C., UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Georgia (GA), Chattanooga, TN, Tennessee (TN), Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL

Dr. King makes an address at the 53rd Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People in Atlanta disputing the myths of the civil rights movement. In addition to expressing appreciation for the organization's work, Dr. King apologizes for the prejudice the NAACP had to endure in making accommodations for the conference in Atlanta.

I Have A Dream

Alabama (AL), Mississippi (MS), Georgia (GA), Colorado (CO), New York (NY), Pennsylvania (PA), New Hampshire (NH), California (CA), Tennessee (TN), Louisiana (LA)

This is an excerpt of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, as delivered at the March on Washington. The moderator asks Marion Anderson to sing, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."

Public Statement at the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Wednesday, July 22, 1964
Mississippi (MS)

Dr. King speaks at a rally held for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Dr. King stresses the importance of government assistance in protecting African Americans citizens from violent actions when registering and voting during elections. In areas such as Mississippi where harassment and murders took place frequently, African Americans were in dire need of a political party that was free of racism so that they could fairly be represented in a prejudice society.

MLK Address to Southern Association of Political Scientists

Friday, November 13, 1964
Birmingham, AL, Jackson, MS, New York, NY, Maryland (MD), San Francisco, CA, Mississippi (MS)

Dr. King addresses the Southern Association of Political Scientists in November of 1964. This address consists of the accomplishments made because of the Civil Rights Movement and areas that society needs to improve upon.

MLK Address to the National Press Club

Thursday, July 19, 1962
Albany, GA, Georgia (GA), Washington, D.C., Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL

Dr. King gives an address to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He discusses his recent conviction for marching in Albany, the economic status of the Negro, racial issues, communism, the church, and the practice of nonviolent resistance. He states that the church is the most segregated institution in America. Dr. King also states that racial issues are a national problem and that the goal of the Negro is freedom.

MLK's Statement in Regards to Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

Dr. King makes a statement following the death of Adlai Stevenson.

SCLC Resolution on 1966 Civil Rights Act

Thursday, August 11, 1966
Jackson, MS, Mississippi (MS), Chicago, IL

At its Tenth Annual Convention, the SCLC Board adopts a resolution calling upon President Johnson and Congress to reverse a vote on Title IV (Open Housing) of the Civil Rights Act of 1966 that effectively permits discrimination in the sale or rental of private housing. It also faults the Administration for failure to enforce Title VI (Ban on Federal Funds for Segregated Programs and Schools) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and for inadequate appointment of voter examiners under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Senator Edward Kennedy's Address to SCLC

Monday, August 8, 1966
Mississippi (MS), Massachusetts (MA), Montgomery, AL, New York (NY), Cleveland, OH, Chicago, IL

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) addresses the 1966 SCLC Annual Convention, stating that the sit-ins, freedom rides and Montgomery bus boycott created a movement that brought about the most important change of the last 20 years. He says that while the caste system in politics is over, the life of the average Negro hasn’t changed much. Society is becoming divided rich and poor, black and white, and a massive commitment of national resources must be made to upgrade Negro life in America.

I Have A Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963
Washington, D.C., New York, NY, New York (NY), Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL), South Carolina (SC), Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA), New Hampshire (NH), Pennsylvania (PA), Colorado (CO), California (CA), Tennessee (TN)

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.

Epitaph for a First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt

New York (NY), Birmingham, AL, Boston, MA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Massachusetts (MA), Alabama (AL)

Upon the death of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. King wrote this epitaph, calling her "a symbol of world citizenship." In addition, Dr. King commends Mrs. Roosevelt for her commitment to humanity.

MLK Address to District 65 of the AFL-CIO

Saturday, September 8, 1962
New York (NY), Florida (FL), Albany, GA, Little Rock, AR, Jackson, MS, Montgomery, AL, ITALY, GERMANY, FRANCE, JAPAN

Dr. King addresses District 65 of the AFL-CIO in Monticello, New York. He begins by expressing his appreciation to the AFL-CIO for their generous contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. He discusses the impact of the Albany Movement and segregation in the South. Dr. King makes the point that America refers to itself as a world leader, yet we are significantly behind other countries in social and welfare legislation.

Remarks by MLK in Acceptance of the Spingarn Medal

Friday, June 28, 1957
Michigan (MI), Detroit, MI, Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL), EGYPT, GHANA, Washington, D.C.

In his acceptance speech for the Spingarn Medal, Dr. King remarks about the need for continuing the fight for social justice and equality around the world. He acknowledges the work of NAACP along with protesters as they continue to be on the frontline in addressing the nation's social ills.

MLK Speaks on Vietnam War

New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, New York (NY), California (CA), VIETNAM, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FRANCE, CHINA, JAPAN, MEXICO, Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL), RUSSIAN FEDERATION, Georgia (GA), Detroit, MI, Michigan (MI), GUATEMALA, COLOMBIA, PERU, THAILAND, CAMBODIA, MOZAMBIQUE, GERMANY, PHILIPPINES, UNITED KINGDOM, London, England, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HAITI, NICARAGUA, South Africa

This 32-page booklet was published by Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam shortly after Dr. King’s April 4, 1967 Riverside Church address on the Vietnam War. It features a foreword by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, Dr. King’s speech, and remarks by Henry Steele Commager, Dr. John C. Bennett, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel. In addition, it includes a New York Times interview with Dr. King, King’s response to NAACP criticism on his opposition to the war, and letters to the editor of the New York Times.

Non-Violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Dr. King proclaims that race relations is a crisis that has existed for many years in America. As a result of unjust race relations, Negroes have embarked upon the current fight for equal rights.

New York Mayor Wagner Remarks at Reception

Thursday, December 17, 1964
New York, NY, New York (NY), Oslo, Norway, NORWAY

New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner honors Dr. King at a reception following a ceremony where he was presented the Medallion of Honor of the City of New York after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The Mayor especially commends Dr. King for his courageous leadership in nonviolence and the spirit of love, goodwill, and peacemaking that he brings to the struggle for racial justice.

Address by MLK at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wednesday, April 19, 1961

In his address to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. King discusses the subject of the "Church on the Frontier of Racial Tension." King describes the crisis state of the US as it passes from an old order of segregation to a new order of integration, proclaiming that this is both a moral issues as well as a political issues. King implores the church to open the channels of communication between races and institute social reform, especially economic justice. Lastly, he invites all people to step into the new age with understanding and creative good will in their hearts.

MLK on Communist Infiltration

Los Angeles, CA, Atlanta, GA, California (CA), Georgia (GA)

Dr. King responds to an article written by Joseph Alsop and J. Edgar Hoover that charged communism had infiltrated the Civil Rights Movement.

Address for the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights

Thursday, May 17, 1962

This address was delivered by Dr. King at the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights event on May 17, 1962. Dr. King opens by discussing various anniversaries that coincide with the event and represent similar struggles for justice including the Supreme Court school desegregation ruling, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Henry David Thoreau's death.

Statement by MLK

Friday, October 14, 1966
Birmingham, AL, Selma, AL, Montgomery, AL, Chicago, IL

In this statement, Dr. King enforces the mission and organizational structure of the SCLC as a means of denouncing the traditional ideas associated with the "Black Power" slogan.